When you imagine what it was like to have God’s voice thundering from the fiery mountain, what do you feel? Did you just read the words and not really put yourself in the moment as if you were there, too? I know I did when I read it the passage the first time. Take a moment and re-read the passage. The people were afraid. They wanted Moses to risk his life, so they’d be safe. Yet, they did said they’d obey God.
Sometimes it’s easy to let someone else take the heat in our place. Do you remember “drawing straws” to see who would have to do the dirty work? Most people tend to want to avoid confrontation. Sure, there are plenty of risk takers out there these days. But fear can paralyze us from taking action. These people in our reading today were clearly fearful for their lives. How cool was it that God spoke to all of them?
And, God agreed with the people’s request. The message would be given to the people through Moses their leader. I love how God speaks from the heart in verse 29. “Oh, that they would always have hearts like this, that they might fear me and obey all my commands! If they did, they and their descendants would prosper forever.” God knew they wouldn’t remain faithful forever. God knew that the people would be fickle and disobey him. But God made it simple, fear me and obey me.
Imagine what the world would look like today if everyone obeyed God? It would be totally different. Evil would have given up long ago from trying to seduce us into misbehaving. It would be like utopia. As God said, we would “prosper forever.” I’m not sure I can even imagine it. That’s what I expect heaven will be like. The Kingdom of God will be a happy place, free from pain or strife.
So, we know God wants us to obey him. That sounds easy enough, So, why do we still sin? The Israelites messed it up pretty bad, too. Years and years will go by. God will intervene many times to rescue the people he loves. The cycle will go on and the people will continue to rebel against God.
Then God sent his son. Surely the people would straighten up. Talk about taking the heat for us. Jesus certainly paid the price for us, didn’t he? Take some time today and think about your life and how you respond to God. Are you challenging him and being disobedient? Are you seeking him, wanting desperately to follow him but not quite sure what that looks like? Or are you fully vested in God’s will for your life, doing your best to be exactly who he wants you to be?
Let’s pray … Lord, I fall short every day. Please forgive me. I do my best to listen and obey. Help me to be strong and stand against the evil one and his schemes. Help me to not let the voices in my head tell me I’m not good enough. I know that you love me. You sent your son to die for me, and I am clothed in his righteousness. Thank you for loving me in the middle of my mess. In Jesus’ name. Amen.