Abraham is known as a man of the tent and a man of the altar: the tent, reflecting the temporary and transitory nature of life, and the altar reflecting the sacredness of life. Each altar in Abraham’s life was a monument testifying to a place and time when he realized a sort of laser focus concerning God’s purposes for him. In our lives, if we fail to intentionally recognize these instances, or build an altar at these times, we are tempted to forget and allow these purpose-filled experiences to dissipate.
The fourth altar in Abram’s life is recorded in Genesis 13:14-18. Here the promise of the land (v14) was linked to a sort of “prophetic action,” which Abraham would need to take (v17). He was to display his belief in God’s promise by taking the action of walking into the land and confirming his faith. The altar was built to commemorate the commencement of this act.
God promised him a land and descendants without number. Abraham initiated and displayed his certainty and conviction about this promise by looking all four directions of the land and by literally stepping into it. It is here where he experienced the fullness of God (meaning of Mamre) and fellowship with God (meaning of Hebron).
Jesus tells us that the Kingdom of God is already present among us. We must act in the physical arena what we are assured and certain of in the spiritual realm by taking the prophetic actions of “walking and talking the gospel” to both nations and neighbors.