Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February 8 - Exodus 19:19

As the blast of the trumpet
grew louder and louder,
Moses would speak and
God would answer him in thunder.
Exodus 19:19
I once talked with a parent who almost refused to have his child baptized because the liturgy talks about "the fear of the Lord." I tried to explain to him that "fear," here, is an Olde English (and Olde Hebrew) way of saying, "profound respect."
I suppose for the Hebrews, however, Exodus 19:16-19 meant more than just profound respect. When "the whole mountain shook violently" and "God descended upon it in fire," I suspect there was fear. TERROR!!! (Can you say, "Our God is an awesome God!"?)
That's the context of the ten commandments. We ought to do two things whenever we encounter the ten commandments:
1) fall on our face in -- at least -- profound respect, and
2) admit that we sin and fall short of their ideal every single day.
I like to tell people that I may not have taken out my gun and killed anybody lately, but I kill people with my words all the time. Almost every hour of every day, I have different priorities than God (which is breaking commandment one). How often do we lust with our eyes? And how often do we ignore the Sabbath command? And how often do we lie or cheat or fudge (which is more common for most of us than out right stealing)? And how many of us don't always give 100% to our employer -- which is theft?
And then ... how often do we judge others for their sins while we feel so proud about ourselves?
Exodus 19 and 20 ought to remind us that we ought to "work out [our] salvation with fear and trembling" -- a New Testament admonishment from Philippians 2:12.  
In Christ's Love,
a guy who needs to do a face-plant
(a little more humble worship
from on my knees or face)

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