Week 4 - Essential 100

May 19, 2016

Week 4 - Essential 100

Hello everyone!  I hope you have been enjoying and benefiting from "The Essential 100".  I certainly have felt a great value in once again going over some key sections of Scripture.
There were many times while reading that I was reminded of our great privilege in Christ.  If you read the book of Hebrews, you will see that IN CHRIST we have gained an amazing access to an all-Holy God that we would not otherwise have.  We take that for granted every day, and readings like we saw this week should serve to remind us to have awe and reverence for the Holiness of God, and also gratefulness and deeper appreciation for the ACCESS we have to this Holy God through Christ!  Look at this parallel I pulled out between Old and New Testaments.

Exodus 19:12; 16; 18-19; Exodus 20:21
"12 Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, ‘Be careful that you do not approach the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain is to be put to death.... .....16 On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled... ...18 Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently. 19 As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him... 21 The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was."

Hebrews 12:18-25
"18 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; 19 to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”  22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.  25 See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks."

The Hebrews 12 passage is really inviting, then it gives a quick warning that we not refuse this God who speaks to us, or harden our hearts as Israel often did.  A warm invitation with a warning; the friendship and the fear.

In the Passover, the Israelites put the blood of the Passover lamb on the door-frames so that the angel sent to carry out God's judgment on Egyptian firstborn sons would pass over them.  God has provided FOR US the righteous blood of Jesus Christ Himself placed on the door-frames of each person's LIFE who places their faith in Jesus.  Though God is all-Holy and His judgments are righteous and just, His judgment passes over us because we are covered in the blood of Jesus which speaks righteousness over us.  We are saved by grace!  So, we must realize our great privilege in Christ and we must be careful not to take it for granted!  God is holy and just, yet merciful at the same time; God is Love.

So, what can we learn from these people who are following Moses/Aaron and then Joshua into the promised land?

We can learn awe and reverence for God.  God is teaching his childlike people to fear Him, to respect Him, to be reverent toward Him.  God is teaching them lesson after lesson, then telling them to REMEMBER what He taught them so that it may go well with them!  God is having them literally pile up rocks to remind them of what He has done for them.  God knows people have a tendency to FORGET and then go back to forsaking Him in their thoughts and behavior.  Exodus 20:20  tells us God's intention in all of this "Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”  These people were beginners in following the One true God.  They were foolish in many ways.  Moses left for a little while, and they (under Aaron's watch and approval) made an idol and got drunk/partied to worship it!  They are clueless, but as God judges them, teaches them and shows them His great deliverance, we see them over the course of this past week's passages growing in their maturity in many ways and understanding in how to live reverently in community with an ALL-HOLY yet GREATLY MERCIFUL God.

We who are in Christ and have the privilege of direct access to God should not take for granted what has been given to us!  We have something these people did not have.  We are covered in Jesus so that our Holy God can dwell among us and within us in a deeply profound way.  But God is still Holy!  We need to be reverent and appreciative for what God has done for us in how we choose to walk...not as unwise, but as wise - with reverence for the very real presence of God in our lives and in our world.  For after all, what God declared to Moses concerning Israel is now the truth of who we are IN CHRIST.

Exodus 19:6
"6 You will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”"

1 Peter 2:9-11
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.  11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.