And Noah built an altar to the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
1. It was an altar of obedience. With Noah the will of God was paramount. What is religion but obedience? — "the obedience of faith" — of which the entire simplicity constitutes its true perfection. Noah's career in the new world began in the spirit of essential obedience. At the command, "Go forth," the Ark is deserted; and, doubtless, in the spirit of faith the altar was erected.
2. It was an altar of gratitude and dedication. Noah was grateful to his Almighty Friend; and, as gratitude is a quality which loses its fragrance by delay, so he postponed every business and consideration to the thankful acknowledgment of his mercies.
3. It was an altar of propitiation. This is its most important feature. Worship and sacrifice are incorporated and identified from the beginning of the world. Man was always a sinner. He could never approach his Maker in any other character.
4. The altar of Noah was a family altar. He was the priest of his family. He required their presence before the throne of grace. He persuaded them to assist in praising God, and in making a covenant by sacrifice. A family altar is, transcendently and incalculably, a family blessing. With Noah, the worship of God was the first business he attended to. He lacked neither calls of necessity nor momentous cares; but he postponed all ether considerations to the service of God. Not like the majority amongst us, who fancy that they have too much to do to devote any time to religion. In the patriarch's worship there was no trace of selfishness. Many think there is no worship like free worship, and are most willing to pray where they have little to pay. What a reproof may they find in Noah! The seventh part of his whole stock and substance he dedicated to God. He reasoned not about future wants, but made an instant and "a whole burnt offering" to his Maker. He did it because it was God's appointment.
(C. Burton, LL. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.