Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
On this Thanksgiving Day, I thought I’d share a few truths that I was reminded of while studying the life of Moses with my local BSF group for the past few months. For these truths, I am truly thankful.
We have followed Moses’ journey with God from the time Moses was called to lead the people out of Egypt through the trials and triumphs they faced as he led the people to the promised land. As the Israelites followed Moses in this journey, it was by no means an easy ride, they experienced a lot of bumps in the road as well as unexpected delays and detours along the way. Despite the fact that God showed the people His awesome power thru some major jaw-dropping miracles, provided for all their needs and then some, and never left their side with His steadfast guidance, the minute they were faced with a difficulty, they were quick to complain and lose faith in God.
Thank God that His Faithfulness is not conditional upon my faithfulness…
He is faithful because that is His Nature
My initial reaction was to think, what a bunch of ungrateful whiners! And then I realized, am I not just like them? Absolutely! If not worse. How many times have I complained to God when things weren’t going my way? Too many to count. Thank God that His faithfulness is not conditional upon my faithfulness. Boy, would I be in trouble if that were the case. God is faithful because that is His nature.
Beginning in Exodus 20, we see a series of commandments, laws and instructions given by God to Moses and the Israelites on, basically, how to worship God and how to live with one another. God made provisions for pretty much everything, from the Ten Commandments to civil and ceremonial laws, as well as very detailed instructions on how to build the tabernacle and everything in it. The requirements on how, when and who could access the tabernacle were also explicit. People did not have access to the Most Holy Place in the tabernacle where the ark was placed. Only the high priests were allowed access, but only once a year on the Day of Atonement, after thorough ceremonial cleansing and preparation.
…I am so incredibly thankful for Jesus Christ, the perfect high priest, who was
sacrificed to atone for all of our sins, past, present and future.
All these guidelines were, by no means, easy to follow and I’m sure many mistakes were made along the way. We are only human, after all. However, I am convinced that even if God made the instructions simple enough for a 4-year-old to follow, we would still not have been able to comply. And that’s why I am so incredibly thankful for Jesus Christ, the perfect high priest, who was sacrificed to atone for all of our sins, past, present and future. Through Christ, we have direct access to God the Father.
How do we, as sinful people, respond to this undeserved gift of salvation? The answer is in Leviticus 11:45, “I am the Lord who brought you up out of Egypt, to be your god; therefore be holy, because I am holy.” God calls us to be holy in response to His grace and mercy. You may ask, just as I did, “How can I be holy? I am sinful, I am imperfect.”
“…therefore be holy, because I am holy.”
The key to holiness is obedience.
The key to holiness is obedience. God did not say, “Be perfect, because I am perfect.” The whole point is that we could never be perfect. Christ alone is perfect. All we can do is obey the perfect One. We are reminded of this truth in 1 Peter 1:14-16, “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.”
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