God gives His Law: He is Holy
And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. – Exodus 19:16
And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was. – Exodus 20:18-21
God wants a face-to-face meeting with the Israelites to give them His law. When it is time for the meeting, they become afraid. An up-close encounter with God can be as troubling as it is comforting. God is a holy God, and Israel couldn’t see, feel, hear God, and not be acutely aware that He is altogether perfect and holy, and they were not.
Jesus confronts distortion of God’s Law – Be Ye Holy
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.”
“Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” – Matthew 23:25-26; 28
The leaders of Jesus’ day were more concerned with what others thought than faithful obedience to God’s Law. These leaders knew the law and knew it very well. The law (as we read in the passages today from Exodus) was given by a loving God instructing a people who had never lived any way but as slaves. They needed direction and guidance.
Now, fast forward to this passage in Matthew. Jesus is angry because the religious leaders have taken His law and are now using it to control people rather than to teach them to be holy, as He is holy. How often do I fall into this same trap? Clean me up, Lord, that I can be holy as You are holy. As a child of God, I ought to desire to be pure and holy rather than to appear so.
God’s Law is the Apple of My Eye
Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart. – Proverbs 7:2-3
Treasure, honor and share His commands. Keep them. Bind them into everything you do. Love His commandments always. They are the “apple of my eye,” and I have written them on my heart.
He is My Strength and Shield
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. The Lord is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed. Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever. – Psalms 28:7-9
David learned that God would not fix everything or make everything perfect for him. But, God would give David protection and strength to fight and overcome his trials. I am so thankful that God does the same thing for us. God doesn’t promise to fix every problem we face, but oh yes, He does promise to give us what we need to overcome them.
Passages for today: Exodus 19:16-21:21; Matthew 23:13-39; Psalm 28; Proverbs 7:1-5
Oh Heavenly Father, Thank you for Your Word. Thank You for your instruction and guidance. Thank You that it was given in Love because You are Love. Help me to show that same Love. I want to be Holy as You are Holy, Lord. Please shine Your Light on those things in my cup that needs cleaning. Please help me to cease worrying about the outside of my cup and what others think about that. Help me to focus on You. I love Your Word. Holy Ghost, help me to always treasure, honor, and LOVE it. I cannot do it without You filling me again and again. Father, You are my strength and my shield. I love you, Jesus. My Eternal God, I thank You for sending Your precious Son to pay the ultimate price on the Cross that I can even ask for Your Help and thank You and praise You today. Please help me to hold fast against the trials and temptations that come against me today. In Jesus Name, I pray. Amen! Amen!