Friday, December 26, 2008

What Can God Do With a Transformed Life?

I LOVE the Old Testament! The lives of the people are like parables with hidden treasures and secrets to be found. Tonight, I'm a bit captivated by the life of Moses. Have you ever really stopped to wonder and dwell on the different ways that God Almighty revealed Himself to Moses? Who gets to see God in that fashion??? God BEGAN the revelation of Himself with an unconsumed blazing bush. That was Moses' beginning. How does it get better and more amazing than that? God had just set the stakes really high to continue moving Moses from glory to glory.

Moses, at this beginning stage of His relationship with Yahweh, was a weak-kneed, mumbling wreck. He couldn't put coherent sentences together. He didn't feel equipped to live up to the task of what God called him to do. He was called to save a nation from the bondage of slavery and he knew he wasn't good enough. All he saw when he looked at himself was weakness, failure, inability. Yet...God called him.

We know the story. God used Moses to boldly stand before Pharoah of Egypt and to declare that the people of Israel belonged to Him, not this pagen king. The nation was saved and God's glory before Moses grew. In Exodus 19, God appears before him and all of rescued Israel as a fire, not in a little bush, but in a roaring, blazing cloud covering the top of Mount Sinai. Moses was called to now enter this fire, larger than his first encounter with the glory of the Lord. What had happened to this weak, mumbling man that he was allowed to enter this weight of God's presence?

In Exodus 24, Moses is once again called to enter the presence of God on Mount Sinai, along with the priests and elders of Israel. Verse 9 says, "and they SAW the God of Israel. There was under His feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. And He did not lay His hand on the chief men of Israel; the BEHELD God, and ate and drank." I looked up the original Hebrew for "saw" and "beheld" and it means...they saw and beheld Him. This was not a vision. They literally saw God. John, in Revelation, saw similar things of heaven but it was in the form of a vision. Moses literally beheld God. What had happened to this man that he was allowed to see God in this way? How had he been changed? What was his heart like?

Later, after God had given Himself in blood covenant with the Israelites, they abandoned Him to worship the golden calf. The degraded His glory. They used their gold and wealth, which was to be set aside to build the tabernacle of God, to create a pagen image and they performed defiling, worldly acts in tribute to it. After all that God had done, they willingly gave themselves over to idolatry and sin. Aaron, who had been put in leadership over Israel in Moses' absence, relented and allowed Israel to conduct themselves in this way. God's response, in Exodus 32:9, was, "Now therefore let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you." In the very next verse, Moses steps in the way of God's wrath and intercedes on behalf of fallen Israel and God relented. Aaron was too weak to restrain the people; Moses was strong enough to restrain even God!

Moses transformed from being a mumbler too afraid to speak in front of Pharoah, to a man of strength willing to mediate between God and a people. What can God do with a transformed life? How are you different from the first moment you encountered the presence of God until now? What is your story? What can and will God do with you as you change from glory to glory?

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