The “Horns of the altar”

And you shall make horns for it on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it, and you shall overlay it with bronze.” (Exodus 27:2)

I was asked a question this past Sunday about the “Horns” of the altar of burnt offering or brazen altar in the tabernacle. He is a brief word on the use of these horns.

The horns of the altar as described in Exodus chapter 27 seem to have at least three purposes.

First, the horns seem to have a practical purpose, in that the sacrifices were to be bound to the horns with cords as mentioned in Psalm 118:27.

Secondly, the horns of the altar were used as a means of sanctuary for those who were accused of a crime unto death. The accused would cling to the cling to the horns of the altar as a way to signify their innocence and seek sanctuary until a proper trial could be undertaken to prove the same.

Finally, the horns were representative the ultimate redemption of Christ for us in that once the sacrifice was made for the atonement of sins a portion of the blood was placed on the horns of the altar. So also was a portion of the blood placed on the horns of the altar of incense before the Holy of Holies and ultimately the blood was placed on the “mercy seat” on the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies.

We see this type of Christ revealed in scripture as Psalm 18:2 states that “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my Rock, in who I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Moreover, when Jesus is brought to the priest at the temple after His birth the priest says of Jesus that He is “the horn of salvation” in Luke 1:68-69.

While I am sure that much more could be said about the tabernacle and the horns, think this sums up the use and significance of these horns.

Grace to all,



Meditating Through the Psalms – Day 82

Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” (Psalm 82:4)

God has established His throne and engaged His council for judgment. The righteous cry out for vindication against the wicked. The cry comes because it appears that God has severely overlooked the sins of the nations. The Psalmist aims to remind God of His character and implore Him to act upon His inherent justice and rescue the weak and the needy from the oppressive hand of the wicked.

It is a noble thought to want for God to bring recompense for the weak and needy. However, here is what we need to understand. We are all the weak and needy. We many not be weak and needy as the world measures it, but spiritually we are all destitute. We are the wicked who need to be judge, but in the same way we are the spiritually weak and needy who need to be rescued and delivered from our plight. Make no mistake about it, God is in the rescue business. He has demonstrated this by sending His only begotten Son to suffer in our place and make a way for us to be lifted out of the mire of sin and guilt and transported into the glorious righteousness of Christ. While to some it may look like God is ignoring the sin of the wicked, remember, His with holding final judgment is Him desperately working to rescue the perishing and care for the dying. He will bring judgment against the wicked, but He is extending His mercy until the last second in order that one more lost sheep would come home.

So as we pray for God to right the wrongs in this world and bring recompense for the righteous, let us also praise Him for His longsuffering toward us that He may rescue one more wayward soul from the eternal damnation that awaits all who die in their sin.

Grace to all,


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The Rock Church Live: Boot Camp for Believers – The Book of James – Introduction

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