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Exodus 19-20

1/25/2020 - 1/26/2020 - Exodus 19-20

A Devotional Journey
     led by Dr. Gene Pearson                                       
Thru the Bible in a Year                 
        The heart of the trip to the Promised Land for the People of Israel is found at Mount Sinai. Here, while the people stay below, God meets with Moses and, after a dramatic encounter, gives him the Ten Commandments.
        Separated by centuries of history and cultural change it is difficult for us to fully grasp the meaning of this event. However, it’s clear from the rest of the Bible that these commandments from God, far from being seen as a restrictive intrusion into their lives, was actually counted as an awesome blessing by the people who received them.
        These were key guidelines, the key to success in a world of incomprehensible complexity and uncontrollable circumstances. This list of laws is a compass, which will guide them through the moral maze which has so often disrupted human relations. This was salvation from the world of human self-centeredness and proud self-sufficiency.
        In accepting these laws the people take on themselves a new sense of covenant with God:  He will be their God and they will be His people, but now they have some benchmarks, some check points against which to measure their faithfulness and success.
        Four of the commandments deal with our relationship with God; the other six deal with our relationship with other people. The transitional commandment is number five which deals with our relationship with our parents, who in God’s revealed plan are intended to lead us to God from the beginning of our lives, and who have an awesome responsibility as stewards of our spiritual development.
        What becomes clear through the relationship between God and His People Israel is the attention to detail He expects when it comes to His place in our lives. He is not an equal with us; not Someone ever to be taken for granted. Everything about human contact with God is spelled out very clearly and carefully, not because God will become angry if formalities are ignored, but because otherwise we would dishonor Him, but trivializing His place in our lives -- and in the universe.
        Have you read the Ten Commandments lately?  How are you doing at keeping them?  You'll never find a statement in the Bible which even hints at the idea that Eight out of ten is pretty good! 
        God holds us accountable for complete obedience to all these standards. We sometimes fail to appreciate the fact that many of the most serious consequences to violating these commandments are built into the universe.
        It isnt simply that God must keep score and directly intervene in our lives to punish us for violating His standards, but that the standards describe how to avoid consequences built into His design and therefore automatically produced by the acts condemned. For example, a covetous person is never satisfied, cannot find peace, and is trapped in his mental need for more.
        All Gods standards are practical; every one of them leads to our happiness. None of them are for His benefit; all of them are for our own. As you come across God's teaching always remember it's there to assist our progress, not to test our discipline.

A. Eugene Pearson 2011