Tuesday, January 24, 2012

He Must Increase-Day 24

I'm not sure I've ever heard a person of faith say that they DID NOT want to hear God speak. Yet the people of Israel did precisely that at the base of Mt. Sinai. God had gathered them around to give them the law and it was an awesome sight. The mountain where Moses had previously met the Lord in a burning bush, was now the place where the covenant law was revealed. This time the whole mountain was burning and billowing with smoke. There was an earthquake, thunder, lightning AND....if all that wasn't enough they heard the voice of God. I'm not sure what God's audible voice sounded like, but it freaked them out. They essentially said "we don't want God to talk to us anymore Moses! Let him talk to you and you can tell us what he said!"

Then Moses said something really interesting, something I've never caught before; "From now on, let your fear of him keep you from sinning!" (Ex 20:20) In their fearful state they decided they didn't want to hear from God anymore. But Moses said (in essence) "if you're so scared in God's presence then maybe you should stop sinning. Maybe you should fear what this Awesome God will do to you if you keep disobeying the laws that he has given you!"

Maybe the fear of God has been replaced by great testimonies of his grace. Maybe the fear of the Lord is been dismissed as an ancient scare tactic to keep uneducated peasants in line. Maybe the fear of God has been replaced by a notion of God which portrays him as a permissive parent who is blissfully unaware of what his kids are doing. But don't be fooled. Our God is love, he is mercy, and he all about forgiveness. But he is also someone not to be trifled with. His commands are not suggestions. His will is not passive. His ideas are never wrong. And he still knows how to bring the thunder! So, where does the "fear of the Lord" fit into your thinking about God? How should this affect your relationships with him? What doesn't it mean? How might people wrongly apply this to their life?

Read the Bible in One Year Plan: Exodus 19-21




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