All the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain surrounded by smoke. When the people saw it they trembled and stood at a distance. â€œYou speak to us, and we will listen,â€ they said to Moses, â€œbut donâ€™t let God speak to us, or we will die.â€
Moses responded to the people, â€œDonâ€™t be afraid, for God has come to test you, so that you will fear Him and will not sin.â€ And the people remained standing at a distance as Moses approached the thick darkness where God was. Â Â Â Exodus 20:18-21 (HCSB)
Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the worldâ€™s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. Â Â Â 1 Corinthians 1:26-27 (NLT)
But Jesus didnâ€™t trust them, because he knew human nature. Â Â John 2:24 (NLT)
This week has been a week for digging into the lectionary texts. From Old Testament to New Testament there has been a lot to read and re-read and think about.
Have you ever been in a worship service and you just couldn’t connect and enter into worshiping God? There are many reasons that can cause that â€œblockageâ€ but the first question I should ask â€“ Lord, show me any sin that is keeping me away from You.
I am shown in this Exodus passage a group of people who did not want to draw near to God when He wanted to be near them. They knew they had sin in their lives. They still had â€œsecret godsâ€ that they turned to and worshiped. God had just destroyed Pharoah and his army so they knew that God could destroy them. They had â€œthe fear of the Lordâ€. Moses tries to explain that the fear can be â€œgoodâ€ to keep us from sinning.
God is my Creator. He knows my flesh. He knows my heart. He knows my weakness. The â€œsuccessâ€ of my relationship with Him is not about how perfect I am but how much I desire to learn and follow Him. Mighty God wants me to draw near to Him so that I can hear and see and learn more about His way that is a paradox to the world’s way.
Jesus looks at my heart and though the world may not even see me or see me as very little, Jesus sees me as a follower of Him; a servant in His Kingdom. He knows the level of trust that He can give me to be His ambassador. I build trust with Him as I obey and go where Jesus sends. He builds trust with me as He faithfully goes before me.
I don’t know how your week has gone but my week has been pretty typical. There have been some struggles and Jesus and I have talked. But what is in my mind and heart most today is how I have felt God’s presence throughout the week and heard His voice as He corrected and encouraged me. I am so very grateful and that leads me into Sabbath worship with a joyful heart.
Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence,
and donâ€™t take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
Then I will teach your ways to rebels,
and they will return to you…
The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. Â Â Â Psalm 51:10-13, 17 (NLT)