Earthen Alter

As I was doing my daily devotions I read Exodus 20:24 that says in the first part, "Make me an alter of earth..." So I did a google search on what an earthen alter consisted of. An earthen alter would not have been practical for permanently settled people. This type of alter might be more indicative for a nomadic people who move regularly (missionaries.) You might be able to see why this "earthen alter" appealed to me. Remember, an alter is a place of sacrifice. We do not have to make animal sacrifices anymore, however, we still need to go to the alter on a daily basis. For me the alter is an earthen one, not only because as a missionary I move but this world is not my home so I do not want to have ties or anything permanent set up, figuratively or not. As I was doing my little study I stumbled across a poem written by G.K. Chesterton in 1906. It never seems to amaze me how so many times I can read things from such a long time ago but it seems like it could have been written for today. I have added my own opinions in parenthesis.

O God of earth and alter, (only God who created earth and shares in our sacrifice)
bow down and hear our cry, (meet us where we are)
our earthly rulers falter, (Not only our President but the leaders of other countries)
our people drift and die;
the walls of gold entomb us, (Our love for money; materialism)
the swords of scorn divide, (Holy Wars)
take not thy plunder from us, (Don't bring judgement on us)
but take away our pride. (But we want to change)

From all that terror teaches, (Judge others by what the media says or how someone looks)
from lies of tongue and pen, (media)
from all the easy speeches, (simple solutions for difficult problems, accepting anything and everything)
that comfort cruel men, (not offending anyone)
from sale and profanation, (against the truth in the Bible)
of honor, and the sword,
from sleep, and from damnation,
deliver us, good Lord. (Open our eyes)

Tie in a living tether, (we are all guilty)
the prince the priest in thrall, (Government mixed with Religion=Legalism)
bind all our lives together,
smite us and save us all, (we deserve punishment)
in ire and exultation, (fight against complacency)
aflame with faith, and free, (state of being)
lift up a living nation, (we must be the change)
a single sword to thee.

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