“At the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet came near and said, ‘O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today let it be known that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant and that I have done all these things at Your word.’” 1 Kings 18:36
We’ve been looking at family restoration based on principles from 1 Kings 18. We’ve discussed making repairs in our family, remembering our identity in Christ, and setting boundaries around and within our home. Remember, our homes should be an altar to the Lord. But what does that look like? Today’s passage shows us that lasting restoration results when each member is willing to sacrifice and serve.
First, the altar is a place of sacrifice. 1 Kings 18:33 says that Elijah arranged the wood on top of the altar, as well as the ox to be sacrificed. Time and time again, Israel made sacrifices to cover their sins. Each one pointed to the coming sacrifice of the Lamb of God – Jesus. His death on the Cross demonstrates what sacrificial love is all about. The sacrificial love of God is our example, especially in marriage. Home should be a place where family members willingly sacrifice personal desires and preferences out of love for one another.
The altar is also a place of service. As the Lord’s servant (v 36), Elijah was willing to serve the people by preparing the altar. His unselfish act of service led to their repentance and worship of the Lord. When our homes are altars to the Lord, we seek to serve one another. We put the needs of family members above our own. It’s as easy as asking, “How can I help you today?”
As a result, the altar is a place of restoration. When God’s power fell from Heaven the people fell to their knees, acknowledging the Lord as the true God (v. 39). Only He could turn their hearts from idol worship, back to Him (v 37). God’s power should be evident in hearts and homes that proclaim the name of Christ.
What is the condition of your family altar? Is it ready to serve its purpose as a place of sacrifice, service, and restoration? If not, begin making repairs. Your willingness to sacrifice and serve one another may even lead another family member to repentance. There is no greater joy than proclaiming together, “The Lord, He is God!”