“…Bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.” Psalm 118:27
Through a year of busyness, chaos, and difficult moments this verse has come to mind so often. This verse goes right along with another one I’m sure most of you already have memorized, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1)
Have you ever had motherhood moments, homeschooling moments, wife moments that you just wanted to crawl down off of that altar and say, ‘No, thank you! I’m done!’ ? I know many of you have had hard times and a few are dealing with major stress right now. But get back to your salvation foundation in those moments. Read the first 11 chapters of Romans which gives all the background that brings us to Romans 12:1 and you will see that… in light of all that the Lord has done for us in saving us from our sin we offer our lives to be sacrificed to Him in whatever way He leads us. He knows how to be glorified through our lives, we just need to obey wherever He takes us.
Maybe your life is not what you signed up for and hasn’t been for years… Marriage, parenting, schooling, illnesses, just plain sin creeping at our doors from the vile society we live in. Bind the sacrifice!
The only reason to bind something is because it is alive and wants to get away. It won’t stay where it should.
Living sacrifices must be bound. When the fire reaches the tender flesh of what was laid on that altar the body instinctively moves to crawl out of harm’s way.
It may seem silly to have to say it, but we need to remember that sacrifices are utterly consumed. When you lay your sacrifice down on the altar there will be nothing left when all is said and done. God will consume it all until there is only a pile of ashes heaped up to be carried to the dump pile. He calls us to bring what is beautiful and precious to us and asks us to place it on the altar and trust Him as we watch it start to smolder, and flames begin to flicker, and it burns until there is nothing left. Don’t let that thought depress you, though. There is nothing left but the Glory we get to see on the other side of that altar.
When the priests of the old testament went in to the tabernacle and offered sacrifices on behalf of the people once every year the end result was entering behind the veil, into the holy of holies, and communing with the Lord. Nothing else mattered for the priest once he got in there, except his salvation. He was not struck dead. This alone would bring thankfulness. But then as he knelt in that room made completely of gold with candles burning and the ark of the covenant in front of him where the Holy Spirit rested, he was completely surrounded by the glory of God. The sacrifice behind him outside was forgotten and nothing else mattered. He communed with his God. One on one! Sacrifice was the way to come closer to his God.
Moms and wives have a multitude of opportunities to lay down as a living sacrifice every day. We are not strangers to dirty diapers, algebra homework, cleaning toilets, running kids to various activities, etc. These are the full-time sacrifices we encounter every day. But there are occasional harder ones that God asks of us. Times when He turns up the heat and refines us, puts us under extreme pressure in anticipation of the jewel to come. It is these kinds of moments that the sacrifice needs more binding. I have asked the Lord to ‘bind my sacrifice with cords’ so many times this year and in years past. When I didn’t have the strength to hold myself on that altar while the flames licked my very inner being. I had to ask my High Priest to bind me there.
I want to be faithful but my strength is gone. The thing is, I have been on the other side of that altar a few times and know that getting to rest in the glory of God working in my life is totally worth the pain in the here and now.
The whole point of the victorious Christian life is learning to love what you find behind the veil more than what you laid on the altar.
God always required sacrifice from his people. We don’t sacrifice out of necessity anymore to make atonement for sin, but out of love for our God who has made a way for us to be close to Him. The more you know Him the more you want to know Him and are more willing to be bound to the altar and allow yourself to be utterly consumed so that there is nothing left but the glory of God.
As you get ready to start your new school year prepare your heart to be bound and look forward to knowing your Saviour more. God uses our offerings to bring us closer to Him. Don’t miss the blessing! Enjoy your year, and if the going gets rough, ‘Bind the sacrifice with cords”!