Exodus 20:1-3,18,22-26 And God spoke all these words: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me... When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance... Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites this: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven: Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold. “‘Make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you. If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it. And do not go up to my altar on steps, lest your nakedness be exposed on it.’
Finally God establishes His laws to the Israelites that give them a clear understanding of what is and is not acceptable in His sight. Until now, they operated under the duress of the Egyptian Kings and did not appreciate their freedom enough.
God sure knows how to make a point as was evident in the fear of the Israelites who saw the physical threat to life when God spoke. Is that God's message to us today?
When I first read this passage, I figured it would be wise to write this out as 10 parts of one chapter and then I realized I would be taking away from our journey across the Bible, a chapter a day, and diluting the essence of what we set out to do, have a cursory study of the Bible before we move into a detailed one.
This helped me see how fickle-minded we can be when we set out to do anything for God. We start when God calls us to and then use our own desires to direct the course of God's work rather than walk in plain obedience to God.
This was the same message that God spoke to the Israelites on that day. Clearly they were shaken up by the ferocity of God as revealed by His presence among them on the mountain and they were operating in fear and trembling because of their hard-heartedness.
As a contrast, Moses spoke with God without their fear because He had a relationship with this same God and was able to hear and operate in this God's leading.
God is no ordinary man or a fiction of our imagination that we can toy with. God is above all, has created everything, deserves our total submission and calls on us to love Him with all our heart and loves us to the point of sacrificing His own and only son, Jesus Christ, for us.
To a God who is so great in His love, we are called to submit fully to Him and serve Him with our entire selves and not just on a Sunday morning (Friday if you live in the Middle East).
Add to that God's greatest warning that we should not make any gods beside Him is a clear indication that God wants us all to Himself. No other idol should ever come between God and us and the greatest idol of all is our pride!
The final aspect of God's instruction to us was about the way we try to dress God and our churches up for Him. He calls us to come as we are and worship Him and not make it difficult for us to approach Him.
He calls for our unhindered worship of Him rather than the hindrances of physical places (prayer rooms), people in power or wisdom (priests or intercessors), rules and regulations (that bind us in our worship), rituals, chants, etc. God wants us for Himself and nothing shall hinder us from Him.
Are you trapped in serving yourself before God and living a life of physical pleasures which will never fulfill? If so, call on Jesus Christ right now and find eternal fulfillment in Him, a treasure that can never be taken away.
Are you saved by the blood of the lamb but approach God through the myriad rituals and expectations of humankind and therefore don't experience God in fulness? I pray that you would approach Jesus in fulness right now without the paradigms of this world and experience His Holy presence right now as never before!
In His Loving Service,
Hebrews 12:18,22-24 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm... But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
If you would like to know about Jesus, then please click here.