2 Chronicles 4:1-6
Moreover he made an altar of brass, twenty cubits the length thereof, and twenty cubits the breadth thereof…
He made an altar of brass. This is a simple sentence enough, but it is one which had a great significance to the people of God. For to that brazen altar they came for many generations, and there they either worshipped/ God and gained his Divine favour, or they failed to do the one and to secure the other. It was the place of sanctity or profanation, of victory or defeat. It, with the various regulations that applied to it and provisions that were made for it, taught them, and it teaches us -
I. THAT MAN MAY MEET WITH GOD, IN WORSHIP AND COMMUNION. God is not so far removed from us in his nature, nor are we so separated from him by our sin, but that he is willing to draw nigh to us, is indeed desirous of meeting us. He is the Infinite and Eternal One, imeasurably above us; but he is our heavenly Father, profoundly interested in us and mindful of us. He is the Holy One, who hates all manner of iniquity; but he is also the Merciful One, delighting to forgive and to restore. He, therefore, not only permits his human children to meet him at his altar, in the sanctuary, but he positively enjoins this as a sacred duty; he is displeased when we neglect to do so. But, apart from its obligatoriness, it is "a good thing" for us, an exalted privilege and a most valuable opportunity, "to draw nigh to God."
II. THAT THERE HE SHOULD SEEK GOD'S MERCY. This altar of brass was to receive sacrifices; and among these, sin offerings and trespass offerings were to be conspicuous. We are to draw near to the God whom we have grieved and wronged, with the language of confession on our lips, pleading the great sacrifice as a propitiation for our sin.
III. THAT THERE HE SHOULD DEDICATE (RE-DEDICATE) HIMSELF TO HIS SERVICE. Burnt offerings (holocausts) and peace offerings as well as sin offerings were presented at that brazen altar. In the house of the Lord we are to consecrate our whole selves to him, and are to recognize that all we have and are is his, to be spent in his fear and service.
IV. THAT HE MUST SEE TO IT THAT BOTH HIMSELF AND HIS SACRIFICE ARE PURE. In that "molten sea (ver. 2) the priests were to wash, that they themselves might be unspotted when engaged in their sacred work. And in the layers (ver. 6) they were to wash such things as they offered for the burnt offering," the "gifts and sacrifices themselves." Both offerers and offerings were to be perfectly pure when the Holy One of Israel was approached in worship. And with what purity of heart should we draw nigh to him now! It is only those who have "clean hands and a pure heart" that can "see God," or that will be accepted by him. It is only those who worship "in spirit" who worship him at all (John 4:24). And as now we all - the whole Christian community - are "priests unto God," and are charged to present "spiritual sacrifices" unto him, it becomes us to remember that both
(1) our own hearts and also
(2) our sacrifices, i.e. our thoughts, our feelings, our purposes, our vows, our prayers, our praises, must be "clean" and pure We must be clean who "bear the vessels of the Lord," who speak his truth, who lead his people in prayer to himself. And the spiritual "gifts" of all who worship him must be cleansed of all impurity, of all selfishness and worldliness, of all insincerity, of all unholy rivalry or envy, that they may "come up with acceptance" in the sight of God. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Moreover he made an altar of brass, twenty cubits the length thereof, and twenty cubits the breadth thereof, and ten cubits the height thereof.