Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Rule Book or a Relationship

To the Israelites the glory of the Lord looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain. (Exodus 24:17 NIV)

“A consuming fire” on top of the mountain their leader, Moses, had just gone up on.  They had this “consuming fire,” the glory of God right in front of them.  They feared it.  They had asked that God would not speak to them out of it because they thought they might die. 

God did want them to fear Him; fear that was from respect and reverence, but He didn’t want them to be afraid of Him. 

Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.” (Exodus 20:20 NIV)

The Israelite’s fear of God speaking to them could be seen as reverence but I wonder if it was.  Because after Moses didn’t come back for a while, their fear took over.  It was a fear birthed of self that didn’t consider God.  It was completely lacking the reverent fear in Who God was.  A reverent fear would birth obedience to the laws God had given them. 

But when their leader, the one who talked with God, the one who had relationship with God, was gone the law book was disregarded.  They then made an idol out of this same fear that came from self and they worshiped it.

This reminded me of a conversation my husband and I had about disciplining our children.  We talked about the importance of being in the Word with them more than just to point out their sin.  We saw the importance of the Word being more than the law, or a rule book as my husband put it. 

That is not what I want for my children.  I don’t want them to see the Bible as a book of do’s and don’ts.  Yes, they are in there but if that is all they see they are missing the purpose and the beauty.  They are missing the relationship that Christ died for them to have.  They are missing the strength and power that comes from that relationship which makes it possible to live according to those do’s and don’ts. 

The Israelites saw A LOT of miracles and they received a lot of laws.  They were provided for and cared for by the Lord but they missed out on the relationship. 

My desire for my children is for them to have their own relationship with the Lord.  I don’t want to be their Moses, when I walk out of the room so does their rule book. 

Father I pray for my children that you would form in their hearts a healthy reverent fear of you, and a love for you that cannot be shaken. 

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