Re: Verse reading–Exodus 19:1-12, 16-22 (day seven)
“Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. . . the whole mountain trembled violently.”–v. 18. The true God is both tender and terrifying. Believers know both sides of our Great God. His first words to us are grace. See v. 4. He offers a life of peculiar blessing/opportunity. See v. 5. None of this, however, must be interpreted as weakness. He is fearful, holy, and dangerous! Just as a child first experiences his mother’s tenderness (first stages of life) only later to experience her firm discipline, learns to love her and then fear her, so, God is tender with us in salvation and tough on us as we begin to grow into maturity. “Therefore, knowing the FEAR of the Lord, we persuade men”, said Paul in 2 Corinthians 5. The God we serve is both tender and terrifying, grace and government, merciful and mighty. May the Lord restore this balance in every Christian heart.
Re: Verse reading–Exodus 19:1-12, 16-22 (day six)
His nation was in spiritual tatters, the Temple in disrepair, and young king Josiah did not follow in his father’s footsteps. Rather he began initiatives to restore his people. In the process of restoring the Temple the high priest stumbled upon the Book of the Law and brought it to Josiah’s secretary. When Josiah’s secretary began to read to him from the Book of the Law, “he tore his clothes (2 Kings 22:11).” He grieved at the thought of he and his people disobeying God for generations, and he was fearful of God’s wrath. The Book of the Law broke the heart of Josiah.
It was that Law that was about to be delivered to Moses on Mount Sinai. Save for the incarnation their might not be a greater event in human history; God’s inaugural written revelation delivered to humanity. We find the people in Exodus 19 instructed to “consecrate” themselves as they prepare to act as over-hearers at the base of the mountain. This was no small thing; this was not life in the mundane.
When we posture ourselves to listen to God’s revelation; when we yield to the voice of God we can’t help but be transformed. We can’t help but see ourselves for who we are in light of His revealed Word, and that is grace to us. The thunder and lighting, smoke and fire, and the written Law was an extraordinary work of grace that day on Mount Sinai. Even the slightest glimpses of God lay us bare, exposing all our deepest and darkest frailties, and that kind of self-knowledge is the beginning of restoration. Let us expose ourselves to the majesty and glory of the Gospel, that Jesus may lead us in ongoing restoration in all of our life; even the most broken and shameful parts he can redeem! Will you “consecrate” yourselves this week? Will you remove yourself out of the mundane in order to be ready to see glimpses a glorious and majestic God who redeems?
Praying for multitudes of “Josiah” moments in the FBCSA family! Pray with me!
Re: Verse reading–Exodus 19:1-12, 16-22 (day two)
The Lord also said to Moses,“Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments; and let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people”. Exodus 19:10-11
The Lord was on the move and about to establish his law for the nation of Israel, but before he spoke to Moses he commanded that all the people should prepare themselves to hear from him. Preparation for anything like a sports season (Go Cardinals) or an event (wedding, birth, meetings, etc.) helps to minimize surprises and make ready for contingencies. This doesn’t mean things always go to plan, but being ready helps to focus on the event itself. It also helps to bring greater satisfaction. When you are prepared you are able to receive a greater blessing.
How much do we prepare ourselves when we meet each week? What is your expectation for bible study or worship? Spend time consecrating your focus on the Lord and expect to meet him. The blessing will be worth the preparation.