This past week has been like climbing Mount Everest to get my readings done in a timely manner. It has been like climbing Mt. Everest just to get through the week!
Unlike most of the summer, they have needed me at work…and then some. Also, our daughter and family returned to Ukraine after their late Spring and all summer here for the birth of their #2. We said our good-byes last week, but I always feel the down side of that in ways that are often subtle. I’d rather just sob and cry for a couple of days and “be done with it”…but it doesn’t work out that way. Unless we make a trip to them, it will probably be two years until we see them again.
But back to my topic. This past week was mostly taken up with the book of Exodus…and the start of Leviticus. I’m almost caught up to Friday as I write now….Friday night.
One thing that struck me was when the commands of GOD given through Moses to the people were met with their quick and unthought-through response that they would be sure to do all that He commanded. A response to commands that sounded difficult, if not impossible.
He was telling them not to covet, lie, steal, etc. but more than that, love GOD with all your heart, soul and mind! Were they even listening? To be able to glibly answer, “Yes, we will do all you command.” indicated to me that they weren’t paying attention, or else that they had a high view of their ability to perform well…not based on past experience! Then within less than a month, they were worshipping a golden calf! Did these people have any short term memory?
Moses was on the mountain 40 days. They had had a display of GOD’s awesome, in the true sense of this overused word, POWER! The noise must have been deafening…and scary! They had seen Him rescue them from Egypt, later from the Egyptians at the Red Sea…and supply their needs many times since by way of daily manna, to say nothing of occasional quail. Their response was often, “But where are those delicious leeks and foods and spices we had in Egypt?”
Talk about selective memory! These former slaves could only remember the good food and none of their unpleasant living and working conditions.
While they awaited Moses’ return from the mountain, they must have gotten bored. They convinced Aaron to make a golden calf for them to worship. In this short time, they broke the first command, actually the first four commands!
Sadly, I see myself in them all the time. I remember when I was younger, I used to hate what they would do. I hated their complaining ways, their fault-finding of their leaders, their lack of trust in GOD despite all the ways He showed Himself worthy of their trust. But then I have to look at myself and realize…I AM THOSE PEOPLE!
I do not trust the GOD who has shown His power in my life. I complain because of what I don’t have, or because what I have isn’t what I want…or because I’m not satisfied with the provisions GOD has given. My attention span is very short. I quickly forget what He has done and feel sad, forgetful, alone and gloomy.
This is when I must go to Him and repent. He is in control of my life, not me. He has planned the things that will come into my life…and the good results he plans to result from them. The GOD of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph is with me. The I AM of Moses is with me too. He is sufficient for all that I need.
Being grateful for His provision and gifts will take me a long way toward contentment and joy. And woven through all of this book as in Genesis? The greatest provision He has made that many of us take for granted: Redemption. Starting in Genesis, He sets the stage to show us His standards, how frail we are at being able to keep them…even when there was only one command…don’t eat from this one tree.
He also started, back in Genesis to show us that in order to pay the penalty for sin, blood must be shed. Someone or some animal must die! When we sin, it is costly. It is not nearly as trivial with GOD as it often is with us. Someone or something must die . Blood has to be shed. It is a gory mess! Either you must pay with your life…if you killed someone or committed a number of other sins worthy of death or an animal must die in your place. It sets the stage for GOD’s standards and His rules in the universe.
They aren’t our rules, or even our preferences. He was telling Moses about His laws of nature.
- Sinners have to die.
- In order for them not to die, blood has to be shed.
- Something has to die to pay for each sin.
Are you seeing what I see? Sin is costly, both in money, animals and guilt. When you must perform a sacrifice for your sins, you need to keep a running tab, so to speak, with GOD that will never be paid off.
But isn’t that the point really? We are deep in debt, apart from Christ and His atonement for our sin.
We need a Redeemer!