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2022-12-09 | Joshua 20-22 | Pick a VowelIt’s encouraging when God’s people get it right. It doesn’t happen very often—unfortunately. In fact, it’s more common in biblical narratives to witness God’s people make foolish choices, rather than wise decisions. And sometimes it is the smallest nuance that separates the will of God from the will of man.

We might even say that the biblical narrative continues today. Really, other than that the reports are not being written in a book, THE BOOK, can’t we say that there has been one continuous story since creation—our story? It’s easy to overlook, but the Bible does seem to support this idea; “You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ.” And might we even agree that we still get it wrong more times than not? Look around at how common it is for God’s people to ruin their testimonies. It’s so predictable that worldly onlookers have come to expect it from Christians—many using the apparent hypocrisy as fuel to stay far away from the Church.

What separates a good witness from the bad is often just one small thing: a jot, a tittle, a yod, an iota, a small stroke of the pen — one letter. It’s easy to alter things, to change them in subtle ways that make them sound the same, but they’re not. One small letter transforms the Altar into an alter. And for Christians there’s only One Altar. “We have an Altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat.” Are you eating from that Altar or another? It’s not always easy to tell, but I can tell you it’s easy. It’s as easy as reading a letter and recognizing letters. “You are an epistle of Christ known and read by all men.” And all it takes to alter your Altar is to exchange one small vowel in one small word with one small stroke of a pen—a jot, a tittle, a yod, an iota. Ask the right questions and it will be easy to tell if someone is worshipping the alter or at the Altar.

There was a song popularized in 1969 about worshipping the “alter of self.” It’s title—My Way. It’s most famous letters screamed of self; “I did it my way!” It’s what happens when you alter letters. Apparently, those who worship at the true Altar sing a different song —His Way. It’s letters sing… “What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, if you know? Every word of God is pure; do not change one letter, lest you be found worshiping at the wrong alter.”