Exodus 19: The holy God (Day 67)

Bible Society's Daily Reflections follow the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, designed for those who want to read the whole Bible in one year. Each reflection focuses on one of its four daily chapters. Darllenwch rhain yn Gymraeg.

Pray

Pray

Lord, prepare me to receive your word. Clear my mind and warm my heart. Assure me of your loving purposes for me, and speak into my life today.

Reflect

Daily Reflection: Exodus 19

Exodus 19 depicts God as someone to be feared – not just in the sense of awe and respect, but in the sense of terror. The presence of God on Mount Sinai is life-threatening to all except his chosen mediators, Moses and Aaron. There is thick smoke swirling above the gathered people, the physical shock of an earthquake under their feet, and the noise of a trumpet and thunder all around them. This is sensory overload, designed to paralyse them with dread.

It’s important, though, to read the description of smoke and thunder in the context of the first verses of the chapter, and to notice the positive message. God wants his people to know without a doubt that he is the same powerful God who brought the nation of Egypt to its knees, and that they now hold a position of honour before him. No longer slaves, they are to be his treasured possession, a priestly kingdom and a holy nation of people who will represent this God to the nations round about. Yet, to fulfil that purpose, they also need to be fully convinced of his holiness – that he is utterly separate from every created being and holds the power of life and death over them.

As Christians, we tend to downplay the terrifying nature of God. We know him, quite rightly, as a loving father and friend, who walks alongside us in our everyday life. Through Jesus we have an awesome privilege that the Israelites did not have – access to the throne room of God in heaven. But we too need to remember that he is powerful and holy, and that along with privilege comes a responsibility to represent him faithfully to the people around us.

Pray

Pray

Thank you, Lord God of Israel, that we too are your treasured possession. Help us to worship you in the full knowledge of your holiness and your love. Amen

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