Exodus 27:1–2: “You shall make an altar of acacia wood, five cubits long and five cubits wide—the altar shall be square—and its height shall be three cubits. You shall make its horns on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it. And you shall overlay it with bronze.”

August 30th, 2019 by Pastor Ed in devotional

Moses was given a plan for the courtyard of the tabernacle, the large, portable temple. This courtyard surrounded the tabernacle and measured approximately 75 feet by 150 feet. The first thing someone saw when they entered this courtyard was the large brass altar at the entrance—the “altar of burnt offering.” Its location spoke of the need for sacrifice for sin before entering into God’s presence. It was seven and one half feet square and four and one half feet high.

The altar’s main purpose was for burnt offerings. When anyone wanted to come before the Lord, they first had to deal with their sin and bring a sacrifice to the priests to offer for their sins. It stood in the open air, where the smoke of the sacrifices would ascend up and scatter. The altar itself and all the altar’s utensils were made of bronze or brass, not gold.

The use of brass is interesting in that bronze would certainly help protect the wood frame from being burnt, as well reflect the light of the flames, but there may be another more personally confronting meaning in the use of brass. At least one prophet suggests that brass is a symbol or metaphor for the stubborn forehead of sinners: “Because I knew that you were obstinate, / And your neck was an iron sinew, / And your brow bronze” (Isa. 48:4).

“LORD, we thank You for dying for stubborn sinners like us. How will we ever be able to say how grateful we are for the sacrifice of Your life for ours.”