REPARING THE SLAUGHTER PLACE OF ELOHIM! - 1 Kings 18:30-39

Shabbat Shalom,

Romiyim/Romans 12:1 “I call upon you, therefore, brothers, through the compassion of Elohim, to present your bodies a living offering – set-apart, well-pleasing to Elohim – your reasonable worship.

While this may be a very well-known verse, I often wonder how many actually consider the clear words of this call that Sha’ul gives, as he calls us all to be a daily living offering that is completely set-apart and well-pleasing to Elohim.

As a called out and set-apart people of Elohim we are to be continually offering up a slaughter offering of praise to Elohim, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His Name. Once again I wonder how many are able to be doing this continually? As we consider the design of the Tabernacle and its function and service, we must not neglect the importance of its design, so that we are continually equipped to serve as a faithful priesthood in the order of Malkitseḏeq.

As living stones that are being built up as a spiritual house, a set-apart priesthood, to offer up spiritual slaughter offerings that are acceptable to Elohim through יהושע Messiah, we need to understand the design of the House and its rules and ordinances so that we do not defile the House of Elohim. While Messiah has become the sacrifice for us all, in that His blood that was shed, was shed once and is for all time, we recognise that in the design of the Tabernacle there is still a slaughter place, which must continually remind us to be the living sacrifice that is well pleasing to Elohim. Any sacrifice or offering needs a slaughter-place for it to be offered, and it is by the Blood of Messiah that we are enabled to be the daily living offering that we are called to, and in understanding the picture of a slaughter-place, I want us to consider our lives before our Master this day, and assess whether our worship before Him is reasonable or not. As we consider our urgent need to be a daily living offering, we must understand that metaphorically speaking there needs to be a slaughter place that is functional in our lives, so to speak, and in a message tonight called, “REPAIRING THE SLAUGHTER PLACE OF ELOHIM!” let us be urgent in our desire to bring the reasonable worship that we ought to bring before our Mighty Master and Elohim.

Through falsehood and lies, and through vain traditions and the commands of men that have been taught as truth, the ability for us to be a proper living offering before Elohim was greatly hindered, as the slaughter place of our lives was, in a manner of speaking, broken down. As we consider our need to repair what has been broken or lost in translation, through vanities, falsehood and lies, it becomes very clear to us that we need to make sure that the Truth is properly restored in us, so that we can indeed be the well-pleasing and set-apart living offering to Elohim that we are called to be.

Therefore, when I use the title of ‘repairing the slaughter-place of Elohim’, I am not suggesting for a moment that we try and build a literal slaughter-place, but rather I am using this terminology as a metaphor for understanding our need to build our lives up in the Most Set-Apart faith so that we can be presented before Elohim as reasonable.

As we consider the lessons that we can learn from the Word we can find great strength in applying that which we learn, and tonight I want us to consider for a moment a slaughter-place that was rebuilt, after it had been broken down and neglected due to Yisra’ĕl forsaking their passionate devotion to Elohim, as they had fallen away to idol worship.

In a showdown on Mount Karmel the prophet Ěliyahu summonsed all Yisra’ĕl along with all their false prophets of Ba’al and Izeḇel, and challenged them to choose that day who they would serve and stop hopping between two opinions!

I am sure you are all aware of this historic event that took place, so let us pick up this story in Kings from the point after the prophets of Ba’al could not get any answer from their false mighty one.

Please turn with me to Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 18:30-39 (read)

This is a very powerful passage of Scripture that records a great event that took place, showing a wavering people who it is that they were supposed to be serving, and after seeing the intense fire of Elohim, they quickly woke up and acknowledged who is the True Elohim!

But what struck me here in this passage in terms of this message tonight, is the clear actions of Ěliyahu, and how he ‘repaired the slaughter-place of יהוה’.

The name of this prophet - אליּהוּ Ěliyahu – Strong’s H452 means, my Ěl is Yah, Yah is Ěl,, and when the people saw the fire of Elohim come down and consume the offering and the wood, stones, dust and water, they fell on their faces and cried, “יהוה הוּא הָאֱלֹהִים יהוה הוּא הָאֱלֹהִים” – “יהוה hu haElohim; יהוה hu haElohim” -  “יהוה He is the Elohim; יהוה the He is the Elohim”!

A repaired slaughter place caused the fire of Elohim to come down and consume the offering, causing those who had wavered to clearly identify who the true Elohim is. The root word used here for ‘repaired’ is רָפָא rapha – Strong’s H7495 which means, to heal, repaired,  become fresh, purified, cure. In a manner of speaking Ěliyahuhealed’ the slaughter-place of Elohim, which he did by the Word of Elohim!

The slaughter place had been broken down and needed to be repaired! The Hebrew word for ‘broken down’ is הָרַס haras – Strong’s H2040 which means, throw down, break or tear down, pull down, utterly overthrow. While we have no physical account or record of a slaughter-place of יהוה being here on Mount Karmel, it may have been a slaughter-place that was once used, when slaughter-places were once erected in various places in the land prior to the building of the Temple. With no scriptural record of there being a previous slaughter-place of יהוה here at this location, what the text could be saying is that it may simply be that he was re-establishing a place to draw near to יהוה. Yisra’ĕl had thrown down the slaughter-place of יהוה through their false worship of foreign deities, and this is what Ěliyahu came to repair by the Word of Elohim.

This same ‘spirit of Ěliyahu’ needs to be actively seen in our day, as we too are seen to be repairing the slaughter-place of Elohim, wherever we are, calling many back to pure and undefiled worship, before the great fire of the wrath of Elohim comes to consume His opponents! The Hebrew word used here for ‘slaughter-place’ is מִזְבֵּחַ mizbeaḥ - Strong’s H4196, which comes from the root verb זָבַח zaḇaḥ - Strong’s H2076 meaning, to offer a sacrifice, sacrificed’.

Tehillah/Psalm 4:5 “Offer slaughterings of righteousness, and trust in יהוה.

Here in this Psalm the verb translated as ‘offer’ is the word זָבַח zaḇaḥ - Strong’s H2076, from which we get the noun that is translated as ‘slaughterings’, which is זֶבַח  zeḇaḥ - Strong’s H2076. We ‘offer’ up our lives as a living ‘sacrifice’ with joy and thanksgiving, and we take note that with the זֶבַח zeḇaḥ offering, there is to be a pure expression of appreciation:

Tehillah/Psalm 107:22 “And let them bring slaughterings of thanksgiving, and relate His works with rejoicing.

Tehillah/Psalm 116:17 “I bring You a slaughtering of thanksgiving, and call upon the Name of יהוה.”

In these two verses we see again the two root words being used, and so we can begin to understand the following text:

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 13:15 “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a slaughter offering of praise to Elohim, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His Name.

In relation to this message tonight, the question that remains is clear – “How can a pure slaughter offering be brought if the slaughter-place has been broken down, or trodden down by deceit and falsehood and vain traditions?

The answer is – it can’t! The slaughter-place must be repaired! And it is only by the work of our Master and Elohim that we can rebuild the stones of a pure slaughter-place unto Him, for He is the Only One who ‘heals the broken’!

Our confession of our Master and Saviour as the True and only Elohim is our starting point to having a pure slaughter-place being restored in our lives!

There is much we can learn from this short passage today, in coming back to a totally devoted and passionate love for Elohim, doing our utmost to guard His commands, and doing so with joy!

As we look around today and see some of the things that people get up to, and how sick and twisted the worship of so many has become, it becomes very clear to us just how broken down the slaughter-place of Elohim is in many lives of those who claim to worship Him, as their slaughterings are compromised with complacency and their need to satisfy the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life!  

How about some of the stuff you do, is it any better? Many today, and perhaps even at times we too, have replaced our slaughter-place of worship unto Elohim with the worship of anything and everything imaginable – be it a career or a relationship or even sport, movies, music, fashion and various hobbies. Even the environment and the created things are worshipped more than the Creator Himself! Today I am talking about repairing broken slaughter-places, so that we can be sure that our pure worship unto our Master and Elohim is that well-pleasing and reasonable worship that He expects from us, as we live set-apart lives unto Him, for His desire is our set-apartness, and a broken slaughter-place will defile your set-apartness.

While there have been various studies on trying to classify various types of people into differing groups that identify their character and nature, and if you could categorise those who profess to walk in Messiah and follow His Torah into 3 differing groups, I guess you could get the following:

1 – THE CHILLED – The chilled category – these are the ones who see the assembling together of the set-apart ones as a cold, sterile ritual – in other words they just seem to go through the motions.

They gather on the Sabbaths and Appointed Times when they feel like it, but nothing really happens for them – they simply just come and go whenever they feel like it in order to complete a ‘duty’ and go through the seemingly ritual motions and then leave, not even sure why they are really doing all of this – but just know that they should do it because they are ‘supposed to’, according to the Word. They lack the ability to submit to any authority, for they will not have anyone else tell them what they should or should not do.  Their worship of Elohim during the rest of the week is either scarce or even non-existent and do not shine the light of the Truth toward others as they feel no need to do so, as they have done their duty of attending a Sabbath meeting every once in a while! Clearly their slaughter-place of worship is broken down due to complacency and selfishness!

2 – THE THRILLED – The thrilled category – these are the ones who see the assembling or gathering together on some Sabbaths and on the Feasts as very exciting and they leave thinking, “Wow, that was really great!” And that is where it stops, sadly! The thrill is where it stays – they are all full of praise (on the day) about how great Elohim is and how awesome it is to gather with others (although they do so irregularly), and do not carry that satisfaction into their daily life; and their witness is ineffective as it merely carries with it the wow of the thrill or the event, rather than the love of a Saviour. And sadly today many so-called Torah walkers fall into this category.

They get hyped up in the moment but this excitement is short lived as it doesn’t progress into disciple making and the witnessing of Messiah, as they are simply seeking to feel good about themselves for keeping a Sabbath or Feast when they can!

In fact many in this category will seek out a ‘cool’ fellowship to keep a Feast with while they will not be committed to walking each week with the assembly and be accountable to others – they just want to attend what they determine as good times so to speak! Their slaughter-place too is clearly broken and needs repairing.

3 – THE FILLED – The ‘chilled’, the ‘thrilled’ and now the ‘filled’, our third category. This category speaks of those who are changed through Word on a daily basis, as they dig into the Word and seek יהוה with all their heart. They are daily being set-apart according to the word and growing in set-apartness as the very Word and presence of Elohim changes them, so much so that they cannot be quiet about their Saviour and Elohim, no matter where they find themselves. Their ability to be a daily living sacrifice comes from being filled daily with the Word and being a living offering becomes more than just a routine, it becomes their life! Gathering as a body in the presence of יהוה with the set-apart ones on a Sabbath and Feasts is something that is looked forward to and will never be missed. The filled can daily experience the filling of the Love of Elohim as they fellowship with יהוה through intimate worship and yielded devotion to His Word and Will. This is the kind of assembly we long to be, aměn! People who are continually filled with the full measure of the love of our Master and Elohim and are able to continually declare His praises, walking in His love and loving others unconditionally and serving Messiah and His kingdom with their all, aměn! This is the kind of people who help keep each other’s slaughter-places in working order, knowing where their filling comes from and therefore have no need to try to find alternative sources for identity and satisfaction. They are dedicated to building the Dwelling Place of Elohim together and committed to unity, no matter the cost, and when this happens the very presence of Elohim can consume our acceptable offerings of a praise filled set-apart life!

In terms of us being a growing assembly, let me ask you this, when you come to gather together are you doing it every so often and find that you are chilled, or are you coming only when you are seeking to be thrilled, or are you being filled daily with the Word and are coming to give of yourself to the building up of the Body of our Master. (Those reading these notes and that are not in our assembly – ask yourself which category you are in – are you actively involved in an assembly or has selfishness caused you to be thrilled or even chilled? I encourage you to get filled and gather each Sabbath with others!)

When Ěliyahu repaired the slaughter-place of יהוה, he “… took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Yaʽaqoḇ, to whom the word of יהוה had come, saying, “Yisra’ĕl is your name.”

We are a body, and as a body of living stones we need each other to be functioning properly as a collective slaughter-place that is able to offer up an offering that is well-pleasing to Elohim! What is also important to take note of here is the use of the wording that makes clear that a built up people of the Covenant is called Yisra’ĕl, and no longer Ya’aqoḇ!

יַעֲקֹב Ya’aqoḇ – Strong’s H3290 means, grabs the heel, and this comes from the word עָקֵב  aqeḇ - Strong’s H6119 which means, heel, footprint, hind part. The ‘heel’ is the last part of the body to come out of the womb and so this word also speaks of the hind or latter part; and with Ya’aqoḇ ‘catching the ‘heel’ of Ěsaw we see how, even at birth, he sought the ‘blessing’ of the first born! As we look at his life, we can also learn a great deal regarding the blessings of יהוה that ‘followed hard after his heel’ when he walked in obedience to the instructions of Elohim! Ya’aqoḇ received a renewed name as a result of having overcome the striving with Elohim and men!

His name was now called ‘Yisra’ĕl’ – יִשְׂרָאֵל Yisra’ĕl – Strong’s H3478 which means, he who prevails, overcomes with El and comes from the primitive root words, אֵל el – Strong’s H410 which means, Mighty, power, shortened form of Elohim – Mighty One and the root word verb שָׂרָה sarah – Strong’s H8280 which means, to persist, exert oneself, persevere, wrestle, contend’, and is spelt the same way as the wife of Aḇraham, שָׂרָהSarah’ – Strong’s H8283 which means, princess, noblewoman, which is the feminine of the word שַׂר sar – Strong’s H8269 which means, prince, captain, chieftain, ruler!

יִשְׂרָאֵל Yisra’ĕlcould also be understood as those who rule with El, as princes! We are a royal priesthood and in a manner of speaking with Aḇraham as our father in the faith we are also children of Sarah the ‘princess’ and so are princes in the Kingdom of our King, and we who overcome shall rule with Him!

The slaughter-place in the Tabernacle constantly reminds us of our need to keep our worship pure and undefiled, and the 12 stones Ěliyahu used each represented the different tribes of Yisra’ĕl who were at that time a divided nation, and the need to be healed and restored back to covenant can only be done on a slaughter-place that has been prepared according to the Word of elohim, and Messiah became that sacrifice as Elohim prepared Himself a body to be offered up and be an acceptable offering for the 12 tribes to be made whole again, by the blood of Messiah!

Using the 12 stones Ěliyahu was prophetically speaking of our unity as one, becoming one with יהוה – one body – with one Master and Elohim. In the same sense the slaughter-place of יהוה in our lives then represents not only a place where we get right with יהוה but also get right with others too, which at times is often harder! In the Sermon on the Mount יהושע Messiah tells us that if we bring our gift to the slaughter-place and there remember that your brother has something against you leave your gift there, go be reconciled and then come and offer your gift.

A broken slaughter-place is a picture of how one has drifted out of love toward Elohim and others, and has drifted out of devotion and wholehearted surrender.

What does a broken slaughter-place look like? What does a broken relationship look like? Here are 12 pictures:

1. When my delight in יהוה is no longer greater than my delight in someone or something else, I have lost my first love.
2. When I do not daily long for times of rich fellowship in
יהוה’s Word or in prayer, I have lost my first love.
3. When my thoughts during leisure moments do not reflect upon
יהוה, I have lost my first love.
4. When I excuse away obedience and easily give in to those things I know displease
יהוה, I have lost my first love.
5. When I do not willingly and cheerfully give to
יהוה’s work or to the needs of others, I have lost my first love.
6. When I cease to treat every brother as I should, I have lost my first love.
7. When I view the commands of
יהוה as restrictions to my happiness rather than expressions of His love, I have lost my first love.
8. When I inwardly strive for the acclaim of this world rather than the acceptance of
יהוה, I have lost my first love.
9. When I fail to make
יהושע Messiah or His words known because I fear rejection, I have lost my first love.
10. When I refuse to give up an activity which I know is a hindrance to my walk, I have lost my first love.
11. When I become complacent to sinful conditions around me, I have lost my first love.
12. When I am unable to forgive another for offending me, I have lost my first love.

A broken slaughter-place is a picture of one having lost their first love, which is a loving relationship with יהוה.

We can learn from Ěliyahu’s actions that the fire of יהוה, which represented His very manifest presence or His anointing and His power, will not come down on a broken slaughter-place! The slaughter-place of יהוה in our lives needs to be repaired, if broken, in order to have His manifest power and anointing operating in our lives by faith through His favour that is extended to a Covenant people by His loving-commitment.

A repaired slaughter-place is a slaughter-place that reflects a life that does not neglect prayer and intercession, nor neglects the gathering of the set-apart ones, and daily dies to self, yielding continually to the will of Elohim, giving of themselves wholeheartedly to walking steadfast in the commands of Elohim, giving as they should and being devoted to studying the Word to be equipped and ready to present themselves as a workman approved, always ready to give an answer for the hope we have in Messiah! How is your slaughter-place?

So how do I repair a broken slaughter-place? Well first it takes a change of habit – stop doing that which breaks the slaughter-pace down and do those things that build or repair. Secondly it takes a change of mind – you must make a choice follow יהוה wholeheartedly – no more wavering between two or many opinions.

Ěliyahu dug a trench around the slaughter-place and then instructed them to fill 4 jars of water and pour it over the slaughter-place and the offering and wood. He told them to do it 3 times. This alone carries great insight into understanding how we are to repair a broken slaughter-place of worship, as we can consider the 3 times representing the collection of the 7 Feasts of יהוה that were to be kept as it was 3 times a year that the men were required to go up to Yerushalayim to keep the Feasts of יהוה. The 3 times that these 4 jars were to be poured can also represent for us the washing of the full 12 tribes of Yisra’ĕl that has been done by the Word of Elohim that was made flesh and poured out for us.

As we consider these 12 stones representing each tribe we are also able to see a powerful picture of what a repaired slaughter-place should look like in our own lives, individually and as a unified body of Messiah!

Let us look at each tribe, as a stone that we can learn from in repairing a true slaughter-place of Elohim!

1 – Re’uḇĕn  - רְאוּבֵן  - Strong’s H7205 meansbehold a son’:

This can picture for us a repairing of our identity as sons of Elohim, and a true son obeys his father, and we can learn from Re’uḇĕn how we are not to defile our father’s commands but submit and obey, and pictures a restoration of our inheritance that had been broken down due to sin and lawlessness and the whoring after idols and falsehood.

2 – Shim’on - שִׁמְעוֹן  - Strong’s H8095 meansheard’.

This represents the repairing of our ears, as we consider the clear message of our Master and Elohim who repeatedly tells each of the 7 assemblies in Ḥazon, that he who has ears let them hear what the Spirit says.

This is a restoration of hearing what has been spoken from the beginning and being attentive to the voice of Elohim. Hearing as we should implies an obedience that must follow, as we HEAR, GUARD and DO the commands of Elohim.

3 – Lĕwiלֵוִי – Strong’s H3878 means, joined to’.

We have been ‘joined to’ or ‘grafted’ in to the Covenants of Promise by the Blood of Messiah and so, as a faithful priesthood we must stay in Him so that He stays in us, and herein lies the repairing of the stones of pure and undefiled service.

4 – Yehuḏah - יְהוּדָה  - Strong’s H3063 – ‘praised’.

This can represent for us the repairing of our praise and our ability to praise Elohim without hindrances, lifting our hands in adoration, exalting our Master in all we say and do, worshipping Him in Spirit and in Truth, having let go of all falsehood.

5 – Dan - דָּן  - Strong’s H1835 meansjudge’.

This represents a repairing of the proper judgement of the Word in our lives, as we walk according to the true plumb-line of the Torah, knowing that we judge our lives daily by looking intently into the mirror of the Word and not walk away and forget what we look like so that we shall be blessed in having part in the first resurrection, lest we find ourselves thrown out and face the judgement seat of Elohim at the second resurrection. 

6 – Naphtali - נַפְתָּלִי  - Strong’s H5321 meanswrestling’.

This can represent for us our need to ‘wrestle’ in prayer for each other as we make our intercession for one another with thanksgiving, and take great effort in caring for one another, which can often be a wrestle in itself against the flesh.

7 - Gaḏ - גָּד  - Strong’s H1410 means,troop’.

The meaning of ‘troop’ gives me the picture of a group of people that are armed and ready to take their stand on the battlefield and so pictures for me the repairing and restoration of proper gathering as we should, not neglecting the gathering of the set-apart ones as some are in the habit of doing. Let us repair this with urgency!

8 - Ashĕr - אָשֵׁר  - Strong’s H836 meansjoy, blessed, joyful one’.

The joy of יהוה is our strength, and this we need to have restored – His strengthening joy over us! For some the walk becomes heavy and tiresome, and this should not be so. This speaks of a repairing the true joy of walking in the Truth without compromise, and with the blessing of Ashĕr being that he dips his toe in oil, we also recognise our need to walk according to the Spirit, done with great joy regardless of the physical circumstances we find ourselves in.

9 – Yissasḵar - יִשָּׂשכָר  - Strong’s H3485 meansthere is recompense’.

This speaks of a repairing and restoration of our acknowledgement of the price that has been paid for us through the Blood of Messiah, and in doing so we urgently must repair and restore the proper keeping of the Feasts which collectively proclaim the recompense of Elohim over our lives. Many need to repair a proper guarding of the Feasts (Including the weekly Sabbath) of יהוה, and keeping them as instructed and not as each one sees fit in their own eyes.

10 - Zeḇulun - זְבוּלוּן  - Strong’s H2074 meansexalted’.

The repairing of the exalting of יהוה needs to be done as we lift up the banner of praise and recognise whose banner it is that we walk under and then walk according to the clear instructions of our Commander and King. Let us make יהוה great and exalt His Name together.

11 –Yosĕph -  יוֹסֵף – Strong’s H3130 means ‘he increases or Yah has added

This speaks of a repairing of the urgency we have toward reaching out and making taught ones, as we see יהוה adding to the body those who are being saved as we walk in unity and collectively go out and do our utmost to increase that which He has put in our hands.

12Binyamin בִּנְיָמִין  - Strong’s H1144 meansson of the right hand

As we started these names with ‘behold a son’ and recognise our need to be true sons of the reign, here we see the urgency in understanding under whose Hand we submit to as we surrender to יהושע Messiah, the outstretched ARM AND hAND of Elohim, who was the Son who was born unto us and is called Father of Continuity!

As we consider the repairing of these 12 stones that Ěliyahu used to repair the slaughter-place we need to understand the urgency in us being a people who are presenting their lives as a daily living offering, as we consider who it is who heals us and repairs us, and as we consider the meaning of the names of these 12 tribes collectively we can see a repaired body that is able to proclaim:

BEHOLD A SON OF WHOM WE HAVE HEARD, LISTENED TO AND HAVE BEEN JOINED TO. WE PRAISE THE JUDGE WHOSE WRESTLING FOR THE TROOP BRINGS FORTH JOY. TO HIM IN WHOM THERE IS RECOMPENSE; HE IS THE EXALTED ONE WHO INCREASES US BY THE SON OF THE RIGHT HAND

So let me ask you today, ‘how is the slaughter-place of יהוה in your life?’,  ‘Does it need repairs?’,  ‘Do you lack the ‘fire’ of יהוה in your life?, That all-consuming fire of His presence?’ I am sure we all could repair the slaughter-place of worship and sacrificial living unto יהוה when seen under closer scrutiny of the mirror of the Word.

The good news is we can repair what needs to be repaired, and we can come and receive His all sufficient favour to repair the slaughter-place of יהוה. Worship and obedience to יהוה is not by our own design but by יהוה’s and it is time for the slaughter-place of יהוה to be repaired according to His Word! If you are one of the chilled or thrilled we spoke of earlier then certainly there are repairs needed, but let’s not be fooled, even when we think we are filled we may just discover that the altar needs repairs. Dig that trench that draws the line in your life saying no to the things of the world and the flesh and saying yes to repairing true set-apartness that befits the House, and let us go forth with the spirit of Ěliyahu that makes straight the Way for our Master and Elohim to return!

יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show you favour; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you Shalom!