“And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings. The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.” (Leviticus 6: 12-13)
Here we find in this portion of scripture that God is giving Moses instruction on how He wanted His people to worship Him in the Old Testament – more specifically, how to offer the burnt offering upon the brazen altar. The Old Testament, especially the Tabernacle, is a beautiful picture of Christ and His relationship with His Church in the New Testament. (Col. 2:17, Gal 3: 24)
Looking at the burnt offering, I was fascinated that the fire should “ever be burning upon the altar”. Always ready for the next sacrifice. Always burning so the people knew they could come and worship. But how was the fire lit? At the dedication of the Tabernacle in Leviticus 9:24, there came a fire out from before the Lord. At the dedication of the Temple in 2 Chronicles 7: 1, the fire came down from heaven. So God lit the fire! It was up to the priest to keep the fire going. God lit a fire in our souls when He saved us. It is up to us to keep that fire burning.
Romans 12: 1 tells us that our body is a living sacrifice, 1 Peter 2: 5 says we offer spiritual sacrifices, and Hebrews 13: 15 says we are to offer the sacrifice of praise. God supplies the fire, we have the sacrifice, but we need some wood. Proverbs 26: 20 – “Where no wood is there the fire goeth out…”. The priest had to burn wood on it every morning according to Leviticus 6:12. So they had to split the wood to keep the fire going.
I don’t know too many people that like to bust wood, but it was necessary to keep the fire going. “…Faith without works is dead…”– James 2: 20. We need to keep the wood supplied if the fire of God is going to continue to burn in our hearts and in our churches. We need to throw another log of prayer on the altar. James 5: 16 tells us that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Without prayer, our lives and our churches will grow cold and ineffective. We need to chop some wood to witness. “…His word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones…” – Jeremiah 20: 9. Not only do we need to preach and teach salvation in our churches, but we need to take it out of the four walls and into our communities.
Finally, we see in Leviticus 6: 11 that the priest was to carry the ashes without the camp. Those ashes were yesterday’s sacrifices and yesterday’s wood. I thank God for yesterday’s revivals, but I have a hunger to see the fire that burned back then burn again in our communities and churches. It’s still the same fire, the same God, the same old-fashioned worship, and the same KJV Bible. We just need some more wood. We are the leaders of today – the priests. God lit the fire. It is our job to keep the fire burning. We have to for us, our children, and the hope of future generations. So let’s get a grip on our axes, split some wood, and throw another log on the altar so we can keep the fire burning.
-Brother Brandon Smith