Moses met with the Lord as one meets with a person; face to face.
Moses had a remarkable freedom to dwell in the presence of the Lord. God accepted him and dwelt with him in the tent of meeting. Ultimately, He revealed His glory to Moses in an unparalleled way.
What will it take for you or for me to approach God in this way: to see Him in his glory but also his personhood?
There’s on old Irish expression – “A friend’s eye is a good mirror.”
You have a friend in Jesus.
Reflect the light.
The Lord will not travel with the children of Israel for their own sake.
Forgiveness, especially the forgiveness intended to achieve reconciliation has this implication: reconciliation to the appropriate relationship.
Like Joseph, who was willing to provide for the needs of his brothers but not willing to reveal himself to his brothers, sin and offense have an enduring residual.
The problem is on my side. My guilt and shame are not immediately resolved simply because I have been forgiven. After a breach, the intimacy required for certain kinds of relationships may not – may never – be possible again.
“Purify my heart” – we think we are asking to be relieved of our disposition to sin.
“Purify my heart” – that my shame may not prevent me from dwelling in the presence of God and my brothers.
The moral failure of making a false god from golden earrings had produced anarchy and lawlessness.
Commitment to community produces powerful and stabilizing forces which engender and protect individuals from the many threats of isolation. In a moment, these protections were lost and the Israelites were vulnerable. Though it was perhaps their greatest momentary experience of liberty – they had cast off restraint – they were actually the most vulnerable they had ever been since the time of Abraham.
The community teetered in sin.
Still mentally slaves, violence re-oriented their thinking and they sulked back to their places. Not wiser. A smoldering wick of rebellion.
I’m an American. I wear distrust of the government like a badge of honor. But the answer isn’t found in a bag of conspiracy thinking – they had that much in the garden.
Our hope is in wisdom – learned profound knowledge so as to not be fooled by every wind of doctrine: To stop being afraid of authority. Instead, making the determination to hold myself and my community accountable.
God is not offended by Moses.
Moses comes through this clean either way – so why does he defend the children of Israel?
He has a father’s heart for his children.
The thing so maddening about moral failure is that it wrecks potential. What could have been so good, has become a failed opportunity and a source of guilt and shame. After all they had been through in escaping Egypt; after so many obstacles had been overcome; the Israelites wasted their glory and jeopardized their future. The children of Israel had exchanged their relationship and the promises of God for a worthless idol and an afternoon of merriment.
The freedom to live in the present is based on the recognition of how valuable this moment is. Potential isn’t converted into something actual over time – potential is converted to actual when you meet this moment with the appropriate response to value. You don’t get a second chance at this moment.
A father’s righteous anger at the failure of his children is born from the frustration he feels watching them needlessly suffer.
In remorse we have the opportunity to reflect on what might have been if we hadn’t failed. In forgiveness we receive a new moment with which to try again.
Every human being has the need to make sense of their circumstances. We choose, usually involuntarily, a point of departure from which everything else in our lives can be interpreted. This point of departure is a kind of faith.
We need this.
If we can’t find it, then our minds will impose it. If we can’t find the one, true God; then we will make one of our own choosing.
I’ve observed this in my life: Usually the god’s of our own choosing are more amenable to our tastes and preferences. Because they are fictions imposed on reality, they help us serve ourselves in the way that we wish to be served – or else they are discarded as worthless.
In precisely the same way that I can live with my wife and say that I love her and care for her, yet still totally objectify her by viewing her from the perspective of how I can be served by her; I view the gods of my own making as objects.
“I made you – perform.”
For your sake, the God of all Creation will not suffer this nonsense forever.
Human dullness is pathetic. Worthy of pity.
The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.
It’s easy to forget what a radical challenge Jesus was to the status quo. The sabbath was a serious commitment – a specific and unique sign between God and the Israelites. No work should be done on the Sabbath.
Violating the sabbath was an offense worthy of death.
Jesus healed on the Sabbath.
The law of love trumps the law of the sabbath. Jesus had no self-interest in work. He didn’t work for his bread. He didn’t work for treasure. He didn’t work for power. He didn’t work for retirement. His work was giving – self-giving.
Love. The ultimate human freedom.
There is never a law against love.
Bezalel was called by name. Someone with extraordinary skills in the manufacturing of all sorts of quality goods. He was called to lead the construction effort of the tent of meeting.
Bezalel had the freedom to serve in this extraordinary way. Not every Israelite was similarly called. But be careful on your interpretation. He was imbued with special gifts, to be sure. But he had to have entered into this. Nothing about the divine spirit of skill was against his will. Bezalel worked to make these skills and wisdom real and actual in his life.
When you recognize that you have a gift, invest in it. God has given you something – He has built that gift into your very being. Use this as the path toward achieving your full potential.
Find your ultimate freedom in service. Do it today.
Incense is a visual and smell reminder of prayer. The rising up, the sweet smell; the prayers continue day and night in the same way that the lamps bear their light. In the midst of dramatic, sacrificial carnage, the gentle yet steady droning of the prayers of the faithful.
It’s a subtle power; constancy in prayer. Like an aroma that won’t go away, it becomes part of the milieu. Perhaps sometimes taken for granted, its absence would be immediately missed. Its non-presence would signal that something is not right.
Pray today like you intend to hear from God – that you are willing to be moved by what you hear.
A consecration so that God might dwell with the children of Israel. God dwells in unapproachable light. In Him there is no darkness.
This Light is your power. This is your hope for glory. This is the possibility of your potential made into actual – the impact that you might have. Your opportunity to be the change your intend for this world.
Remember surfer – you don’t own the wave. Yet in the wave is the possibility of everything you crave.
Consecration means “Get Ready”.