Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in your midst, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people. (Ex 33:3)
After the Israelites worshiped the golden cow, God said that He would not go with the people, but would send an angel instead. So, God showed the Israelites that their perverseness made this severe punishment necessary for them. However, even in His judgment, He remembered to show mercy to them. The Ten Commandments and related laws defined Israel’s relationship with God. To obey those laws was to act righteously, because such obedience maintained the covenant between God and His people. As David wrote, “He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy” (Ps 103:7-8).
So the LORD said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.” And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.” (Ex 33:17-18)
After the Israelites worshiped the golden cow, Moses spent forty days and nights interceding for the people. Finally, God honored Moses’ bold intercession, and He promised to restore His relationship with Israel. Yet Moses was still not satisfied, and He wanted more in his personal relationship with God. We may have been Christians for many years, but have we ever really longed for some personal experience or direct knowledge of God? We all ask for personal blessings, but how much do we desire to know God Himself? That is what Moses asked for: “Show me Your glory”.
Recently, some brothers and sisters who had not come to church in a long time came back to attend service. I was both surprised and glad to see them again. When I told other members that they had returned, they also reacted with surprise and joy. However, our reactions made me realize one thing – in a sense, we were surprised because we were not expecting them to come back. In a sense, though we must have prayed for these lost sheep at one point in time, we were surprised because for a long time, we may have forgotten about them.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. (Heb 10:23)
Prayer sometimes tarries, for God often has His own timing in answering our prayers. The best time for God to answer our prayers could be days, months, or even years later.
Their wings touched one another…two wings of each one touched one another. (Ezekiel 1:9,11)
Be close enough to know each other’s heart, and to give and receive encouragement in the truth.
One of the most moving phrases in Paul’s writing to Timothy is, “…I remember you in my prayers night and day, greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears…” (2 Tim 1:3-4).
Timothy’s sincerity in ministering met hard times. His wings seemed listless, then lifeless. The easiest way would have been just to let Timothy go home. But Paul knew God’s grace and gift had been with Timothy and still was. What Paul saw in Timothy was two levels: first, it appeared that Timothy wanted to give up, and second, Timothy had a genuine faith. Continue reading