…an altar of uncut stones, on which no iron tool had been used. On it they offered unto the LORD burnt offerings and sacrificed fellowship offerings. -Joshua 8:31b NIV
…an altar of whole stones, over which no man hath lift up any iron: and they offered thereon burnt offerings unto the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings. -Joshua 8:31b KJV
Without consecration, any heart cannot be God’s dwelling place. A man’s dedication to God is a question of the state of His heart. God’s altar in a man is his heart. In the text above, the scripture speaks of an altar made to God; this was built by Joshua after victory was won over Ai –after the troubles Achan caused Israel in taking possession of the consecrated things. There is indeed a lot God is pointing out to us here.
As earlier said, the altar of God is our heart; it is where the communication with God starts from. What do cut stones (fashioned by iron tools) mean? Today, the church is filled with heresies and human philosophies that are perceived to be rather ‘proper’ or ‘ethical’ rather than the ‘raw’ statutes of God. The Word of God has not lost its potency; instead, it has been suffered to settle on unyielding rocky and parched soil –hardened hearts. Once human tools are used to fashion one’s heart, it becomes defiled. God wants to work on our hearts and dwell in it. The instruction is in Proverbs 23:26: “My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.” What God demands is an altar totally dedicated to Him. He does not want a heart encumbered with human doctrines, beliefs and philosophies; not cut with any iron tool.
The KJV translation of this text calls it an altar of whole stones. Beloved, is your heart whole with God? Is it divided or crafted? Some part to youthful lusts, cares of this world, ambitions of all sorts. God does not have anything to do with a divided heart; it cannot serve His purpose. If you desire a serious relationship with God, there needs to be a proper turn around that starts from the dedication of your heart. Is your heart an altar of whole stones? Or has it been modified to carry both God and the world? This is impossible; remember, ‘friendship of the world is enmity with God’ -James 4:4. What you need is a wholly dedicated heart.
Talk to God: Father, grant me the Grace to totally dedicate my heart to you in Jesus’ name, amen!