Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Exodus 33-34 - Sinai, two priests

Today I start reading the Bible through for 2012, as requested by Pastor Andersen in response to David Platt's book Radical. Also, Colette is doing a similar reading program and it will give us something else to talk about! I'm cheating a little, picking it up in Exodus 32 - Moses coming down from Sinai, the golden calf, etc. I love Genesis so will probably go back and "pick it up"sometime. Even more than last year I will not be writing for anyone else. I don't know if anyone else will even see this blog. It is between God and I but if someone wants to read it, that's okay, too. We are all one body. Two particular themes I will be paying attention to: the roles, giftings, and temptations of the prophet (speaking God's truth to man), the priest (representing man before God), and the king (ruling man on God's behalf), with an eye to applying it in the context of my life in 21st century Vermont and America; and, God's wisdom about marriage. But I hope I will not let my mini-focus on these compelling themes distract me from the adoration of the Lover of My Soul. May they never be religious idols, but rather angelic messengers giving glory to God.

There is this repeating duality in God's dealing with humanity, the good brother and the bad brother. Cain and Abel. Isaac and Ishmael. Jacob and Esau. Joseph and, well, all the others.

And, Aaron and Moses. Say what you want about Moses and his temper, always hitting God's creation (Egyptians, water-bearing rocks, tablets of the law), he's on God's side. He is God's friend, even when his family, friends and very brother isn't. And he is honest, even when his brother isn't. And he takes responsibility for sin, even when his brother doesn't. And he knows, unlike Aaron, that one thing "will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth" - the presence of God. And so he is able to lead by example and encourage the levites, "you have been set apart to the LORD today, for you were against your own sons and brothers." This day every Levite was Abraham, actually killing their Isaacs and Lots. "Any man who will not hate his brother or sister or mother or father for the sake of the Kingdom".....and Jesus showed us what Kingdom "hatred" is, not a wielding of the sword but a cleaving unto God. Only such a man may lead others in holiness and talk with God face to face.

Lord, may the worldly combination of fear and filial love never lead me to my first love, nor indeed any other covenental love.

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