These are the two first acts of Abram in the land of Canaan.
1. All life should blend earthly and heavenly.
They are not to be separated. Religion should run through everything and take the whole of life for its field. Where we cannot carry it is no place for us. It is a shame that heathenism should be more penetrated by its religion than Christendom is.
2. The family should be a church.
Domestic religion. New Testament households. Abram a priest. The decay of family religion, worship, and instruction.
3. The service to God should be more costly than to ourselves.
Pitching a tent cheaper than building an altar. Give God the best. We build ourselves ceiled houses and the ark dwells in curtains. Pagans build elaborate temples, but their houses are hovels. Too many Christians do the opposite.
4. Building for God lasts, for selves perishes.
A tent is stricken, and no trace remains but embers. The stones of Jacob's altar may be standing yet. The Parthenon of Athens remains: where are the hovels of the people? 'He that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.' Permanent results of transitory deeds.