Grace From the Start: Day 13 {Dec. 7th}

The Israelites are now at a place where they are free from slavery yet wandering in a wilderness.  They need to know how God desires for them to live.  We need to know how God desires us to live.  Before he gives them these commands he tells them about Himself.  “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”  {Exodus 20:2}

He tells them all he has done for them before he tells them what it looks like to be his people.  These commands are not given so that they can clean up their lives before He will become the God of the Isralites.  He is their God.  He will always be their God.  He wants good things for them.  He knows they do not know how to live that is what these commandments are for.  These commandments will also reveal how much and often they fall short. Each time they look at these commandments they will know they are falling short.  Each time they see their shortcomings they can look to their God who brought them out of slavery. 

Without these laws we would have no idea what perfection looks like.  We would not know what we need to approach God. We look at these commandments, we see we fall short, and we run to Jesus.  Jesus is the one who kept these perfectly in our place.  The love of Jesus creates a desire in us to want to do this yet when we fail {constantly} we run to our Savior.  {I can tell you from experiance there is a lot of running back}  

When the Israelites heard the voice of God they begged Moses to be an intercessor for them.  God is perfect that is why they could not be in his presence or hear his voice.  The life, death, and resurrection of Christ will change that. Because of the goodness of Christ, we can now approach God.  We can approach the throne of grace that the bible tells us about.  The veil that one existed because of sin is now torn.

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

{Hebrews 4:14-16}

Coming up we will see God instituting priests so the people can communicate with His people.  As for now that priest is Moses.  It may be difficult for us to understand this because we have always been able to pray and have God hear us.  It is some thing we take for granted, for sure.  The Israelites were still in the shrowd of sin because Christ had not yet come.  

Separation from God is not the way it has always been.  Last week we learned when sin entered the world and Adam and Eve were instantly separated from their perfect communion and relationship with God.  Before that instant they walked with God in the garden.  As soon as they discovered their sin they hid themselves because they knew they could no longer be in his perfect presence.  Since then God has veiled himself in different things. 

God veiled himself in human flesh when he wrestled with Jacob

in a burning bush when he called Moses,

in a cloud and a pillar of fire when he lead the Isralites through the wilderness.

He has had to hide his perfect glory because it is too much for us flawed humans to take in.  The story of when God was giving the 10 commandments illustrates just how incapable we humans are at keeping God in the front.  While Moses was on the Mnt Sinai receiving the commandments, the people build an idol. They fashion a new god in the shape of a golden calf.  They begin worshiping this golden image andattribute their release from slavery to this cow they created. 

Moses comes down from the mountain and discovers that they have built an idol and Aaron helped Moses is overcome with anger and in frustration he throws down the stone tablets.  The law of God is literally broken at his feet. 

The tablets are broken.  Moses must go up on the mountain again.  This interaction with God and Moses shows how perfect God is.  How big and powerful that perfection is and why without a veil or without the righteousness of Christ covering us we can not approach God. 

“4 So Moses cut two tablets of stone like the first. And he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him, and took in his hand two tablets ofstone. The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there,and proclaimed the name of the Lord.The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and aboundingin steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands,forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but whowill by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers onthe children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourthgeneration.” And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth andworshiped. And he said, “If now I have found favor in your sight, O Lord,please let the Lord go in the midst of us, for it is a stiff-neckedpeople, and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for yourinheritance.”

10 And he said,“Behold, I am making a covenant. Before all your people I will domarvels, such as have not been created in all the earth or in any nation. Andall the people among whom you are shall see the work of the Lord, for it isan awesome thing that I will do with you” {Exodus 34:4-10}

“29 When Mosescame down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in hishand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of hisface shone because he had been talking with God.[a] 30 Aaron and allthe people of Israel saw Moses, and behold, the skin of his face shone,and they were afraid to come near him. 31 But Mosescalled to them, and Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned tohim, and Moses talked with them. 32 Afterward allthe people of Israel came near, and he commanded them all that the Lord hadspoken with him in Mount Sinai. 33 And whenMoses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face.

34 WheneverMoses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he wouldremove the veil, until he came out. And when he came out and told the people of Israel what he was commanded, 35 the people of Israel would see the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face was shining. And Moses would put the veil over his face again, until he went in to speak with him.”  {Exodus 34:29-35}

When Christ came the veils were torn.  We now get to approach God because we are covered in the righteousness of Jesus.

Being able to speak to God is something I take for granted each day.

So many days I see my to do list and decide I have to much to do to sit, be still, speak to my God.

Here is to praying that I can think like Luther when he said:

“I have so much to do today I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”

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