Leviticus 6:13 The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.
The altar is where the Israelites would bring their offerings to be burnt before the presence of the Lord. There were several offerings that were to be mandated, but there was also an offering that was voluntary. Of course, in order for a burnt offering to be made, there must be fire. And it was the responsibility of the priest to make sure that the fire on the altar was always burning, that it never went out.
The offerings made at the altar were for the purpose of forgiveness and a maintaining of a close relationship with God. It was also a sign of their devotion to God, as they willingly brought their offering to the Lord. Their access to the altar, as symbolized by this never-ending fire, was always ready and available. That fire was to never go out.
How wonderful it is that we have a direct line of access to our God. That access is granted to us because of the forgiveness which we received when we came to the cross of Calvary, and trusted in the shed blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ. God desires that we have a close relationship with Him. He does not just desire that we be a son or daughter through our salvation, but that we be a son and daughter in a close, right relationship with Him.
That never ending fire represents forgiveness. One of the things that can come between us and our Lord is the “sin which doth so easily beset us” (Heb. 12:1). How comforting is it to know that there is a never-ending fire at the altar where we can deal with our sin. Yes, the very sin which could come between us and our God has a place where it can be brought and confessed, resulting in a restored relationship.
That never ending fire represents love. How wonderful is it that the God of the universe loved us so much that He Himself provided payment for our sin. And not just the eternal consequences of our sin, but the present ones as well. All of God’s provision for our sin is born out of His love for us. God proved His love for us by providing a way for our sin to be dealt with through Jesus Christ (Romans 5:8). May we daily take advantage of this wonderful opportunity we have to experience the love of God through the daily forgiveness and cleansing of our sins.
That never ending fire represents opportunity. When we fall, we need not stay down. When we start down the wrong path, we do not need to continue on it. Sin, which is so addictive and binding, can be dealt with decidedly and directly. Satan loves to condemn us when we sin. He is the same one who tells us before we sin that it’s not a big deal and that we can be forgiven. After we listen to him and sin, he is the one who tells us how horrible and undeserving we are, and accuses us of being hypocrites in an attempt to keep us from getting right. But it doesn’t need to play out that way, for the fire at the altar represents an opportunity for a fresh start.
Lastly, that never ending fire represents decision. We can only receive forgiveness when we purposely determine to come to the altar and get things right. We never need to hold onto our sin. We need not be defeated by our sin. There is a far better way. The fire on the altar is always burning, it is never-ending. Our closeness with God is always possible. Cleansing and forgiveness are readily available. The only question is this—are you taking advantage of the never ending fire?
There are certain things in life that if we truly love them, there will be a counterbalance of hate for what opposes them.
If God gave us the opportunity to have WHATEVER we wanted, what would it be?