Monday, January 13, 2014

Stray or Stay

O. T. #206  "Stray or Stay"
Jan. 13, 2014
Exodus 20-Part 13
And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.
Exodus 20:21


Living on a farm with cattle, I think that I have seen it all. Nope. This week calves strayed from their  assigned field, where they had bales of hay were available to eat at anytime, and went through a fence into a snow covered field. Why do they stray instead of staying in the best of conditions? Well, aren't I the same way? God provides all I need and my heart strays away from Him, after things.

It took three weeks to cover only ten of God's commandments to Israel and to us. Ten Commandments. Can we say all ten by rote memory or by heart?
We know they are grouped into two categories-the vertical, which is humanity's relationship with God (verses 2-11) and the horizontal, which is humanity's relationship to the community (verse 12-17). They cover true theology, true worship, reverence for God's name, the Sabbath, family honor, life, marriage, property, truth, and virtue. [Reference: The MacArthur Bible Handbook]

God is requiring that we love Him exclusively as the Only True Living God. Jesus Christ is not only HIs Son, but His is God manifested in the flesh as a human. He provided our salvation and right relationship with God by taking our place in payment for our sins. He became the sacrificial Lamb of God. His resurrection proved that He is not only a man, but is God. He is a living Savior, our Mediator, sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for us.

Now that is something to shout about!

In looking back over these commands, I summarize them in this manner:
  • Love and worship no other gods nor idols, God alone.
  • Reverence God's name as a holy name above all other names.
  • Set aside the Lord's Day for worship, set apart from other days of work.
  • Honor our parents. In so doing we honor God.
  • Preserve life by not killing people.
  • Honor our marriage vows and spouse by not committing adultery, lusting after another.
  • Be content with what things you have, thus do not steal from another.
  • Tell the truth about our neighbors, not lying about them.
  • Be thankful for what we have, by not coveting what our neighbor has.
I hope that I did not do them an injustice, but put them in high esteem in modern language that we can understand.


The people were so afraid of these proceedings that they requested Moses be God's spokesman, rather than having God speak directly to them. (Falwell)

The people saw it, removed themselves, and stood afar off. Do we know people who are too afraid to approach God? Are we willing to intercede/pray for them to Jesus? (I'm not talking about salvation. The individual has to come to Jesus on their own.)

Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Bible has this to say in verse 18-21: 
Knowing the terror of the Lord, we may be persuaded to live in His fear. Let us rest satisfied with the instructions given us by the Scriptures and the ministry, for if we believe not them, neither should we be persuaded though God should speak to us in thunder and lightning.
Ever since Adam fled, upon hearing God's voice in the garden, sinful man could not bear either to speak to God, or hear from Him immediately.
We must always have in our minds a reverence of God's majesty, a dread of His displeasure, and an obedient regard to His sovereign authority over us; this fear will quicken us to our duty, and make us circumspect in our walking, thus stand in awe, and sin not, Ps. 4:4.

The Israelites knew that God was holy and they were not. The giving of the Law showed them and shows us how far man falls short of God's glory. We sin and cannot keep the Law perfectly. Isaiah (Is. 6:1-5) felt undone before God and John fell as a dead man before the Lord (Rev. 1:17).
We desire a mediator, someone to act as a go-between with us and God. Jesus is the only One who qualifies (1Tim. 2:5) and can come before a perfect God.

Fear can keep us from sin for a while, but like the Israelites who after 40 days danced before a golden calf, we too stray. Our motivation to serving God should be love, though it is better to obey out of fear than not at all. Do we stay or stray?

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