Today: The Rules! But even better than that, today we get to imagine all people, not just the chosen few, seeing the presence of God! What an exciting day!!!
Day 36 reading: Exodus, chapters 19-21
Moses had a unique, personal relationship with our Lord. So close was their relationship that Moses went up to God (19:3, NIV). Can you even imagine this? I mean, God comes to us, we’ve read of previous scriptures where He has appeared to this person or that person in this form for that form, but this is the first time that I can recall so far that some person has gone up to Him!
Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain.
When I approach God in prayer or with a need or a concern, I know He is there, I feel His Presence. But I also know that His Spirit is within me, so that even if I say that I approach Him, the truth is that He’s been there all along. But Moses, he approached the Lord. I love this!
Then, what comes next is even more riveting.
The Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you.” (19:9, NIV)
Not only was their relationship so intimate that Moses could approach God, but God wanted His chosen descendants of Abraham to know Him so well that they could hear the sound of His voice. God’s voice! Friends, I don’t know about you, but this is hitting me hard! (I suppose that explains all the “!!!”)
Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. (19:17, NIV)
To stand at the base of a mountain, looking up, and seeing God’s presence in a mighty cloud, and hear His voice booming across the skies. Glorious! And, of course, I love the line that says that Moses led the people out…to meet with God.
Oh, how I wonder how those Israelites felt. Scared? Probably. Excited? Absolutely! Do you think they hurried out to the meeting spot or do you think they stumbled along, like when kids have to go to the principle’s office? Were they joyous and excited to see their Lord and to hear His voice or do you suppose they were too nervous to concentrate, thinking through all the sins they couldn’t deny?
Then, He speaks:
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a Jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God has given you.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” (20:2-17, NIV)
Part of me (the really wordy part) wants to develop and comment more on each of the Ten Commandments, but truly, they are about as clear cut as a set of rules can be. God’s Word is perfect, it needs no human explanation to those who listen.
Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.” (20:20, NIV)
This is an interesting concept to me. I wasn’t raised in fear of God, but more in adoration of Him, so to see that these rules are meant to keep us from sinning because of our fear of our Lord is a new way for me to look at the laws. And, in some way it makes sense. I can see how we want to live an upright life to keep from the bad, but really I prefer to live an upright life because I look so forward to all of the joy of heaven!
Make it a great day,
Day 37 reading: Exodus, chapters 22-24