Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it.
Noah Built an Altar
Devotion based on Genesis 8:20
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Noah built an altar. People familiar with the story of Noah and the flood know Noah built an ark. But Noah also built an altar. For about a year, Noah and his family lived on the ark while it floated on top of the flood waters. Death and destruction swirled around them.
What thoughts went through the minds of the eight people on that ark as the rain waters fell and the flood waters went up? Every creature outside of the ark lost its life. Were Noah and his family horrified at the carnage?
When it was time to leave the ark, how did Noah feel? Thankful. Noah built an altar. And then he offered up a great sacrifice to God.
There were only seven of each clean animal saved on the ark, and Noah took one of them, fourteen percent of the living population, and offered it as a whole sacrifice. Every part of that sacrifice was offered to God. Noah didn’t save any of it to feed himself or his family, but with gratitude in his heart, he offered it all. It was Noah’s way of saying thank you and dedicating his whole self to God in gratitude.
Noah’s sacrifice was great, but it wasn’t the greatest sacrifice this world has seen. The flood waters purged a wicked generation, but sin remained. God knew the only solution to that sin was a sacrifice, the sacrifice of Jesus on a wooden cross. God gave all of himself as the sacrifice for sin; he didn’t hold anything back. The result? Your sins are forgiven. All of them. They are purged by the blood of Jesus.
God doesn’t ask his people to offer animal sacrifices as a show of thanks anymore. Instead, God asks them to show gratitude in the way they live their lives. God’s people show gratitude when they follow God’s commands and will; it’s their way of offering their whole lives in heartfelt thanks for the saving sacrifice of Jesus.
Dear Jesus, thank you for your great sacrifice for my sin on the cross. Give me a grateful heart that lives for joyful service to you. Amen.