Currently Listening:
Ágætis Byrjun By Sigur Rós
Song:Olsen Olsen

My wife said that this song is “triumphant.” I have read several reviews from sigur Ros, and most of them include a statement about being emotionally exhausted after the show. I can believe it.

Exodus 20: God’s gift of the Law

What did the passage mean to those who heard it? What’s the main point?

In the NKJV, this chapter is divided into 3 sections.

20:1-17 shows Moses receiving the commmands from God. Lately, I have been thinking about #3, not taking the Lord’s name in vain. When we hear that one, we usually think about people saying “Jesus Christ” when they smash their hand with a hammer. The Ryrie Study Bible says that this command was a “prohibition against false swearing and frivolous use of God’s name. The use of an oath of affirmation was not forbidden (Deuteronomy 6:13)”.
What is frivolous use? I would say things like calling on God to pass a test, get me out opf a sppeeding ticket, calling upon him when He is not my savior would qualify. Asking God to “bless me” when I haven’t een asked him if I should do something. As Jesus said, not all who cry “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom.

20:18-21 has the people at the bottom of the mountain being scared by the thunder, lightning and smoke from God. The people did not want to hear directly from God, but through Moses. How often do we defer to the counsel of men without listening to God?

20:22-26 details the “law of the altar.” In creation of an altar, God wanted to ensure that nothing came between He and His people. There would be nothing to captivate the worshiper, not even the stones that made the altar. They needed to be natural, not “hewn”, not shaped or formed by man in any way. Why would this matter? Let’s say my trade is in bricks and mortar. I make rocks. I walk up the altar that “Bob” built, and all I can focus on is the way the rocks lay in the mortar. I see cracks, and the altar is not quite “square”. What am I focusing on? Now think about today. I am in church, and we are singing the latest and gretest worship anthem, and I feel lead to lift my hands, or kneel, but I am so worried that no one else is, that I defy the Spirit. My focus is no longer on God, but on what everyone else thinks of me. Worship is vertical, not horizontal.

What is God saying to me through these words?

Focus on him and Him alone. Be in an intimate relationship with Him. Be obedient ot His law because I love him and He loves me. Seek to know Him, and I will not be frightened by his majesty and power. As David Bazan writes in the song “Promise” from “It’s hard to find a friend”…

“If i look up and the sky’s not there,
is there any reason i should be scared?”

How should my life change because of these truths? Should I start doing something, or should I stop doing something? What am I going to feel, think, and believe because of this passage?

Worship Him in Spirit and Truth. Be given over to Him. While I may and do stand amazed when He fulfills His word, I should not be scared of Him. What I do bring to Him, I need to bring to Him honestly, dirt and all. I don;t need to be clean to come to Him, because He loved my while I was still a sinner.


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