Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Why such contrasts in the dealings of our Holy God?

Scenario 1 :

Hebrews 12 (NLT)

18 You have not come to a physical mountain,[h] to a place of flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind, as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai. 19 For they heard an awesome trumpet blast and a voice so terrible that they begged God to stop speaking. 20 They staggered back under God’s command: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.”[i] 21 Moses himself was so frightened at the sight that he said, “I am terrified and trembling.”[j]

22 No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. 23 You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect. 24 You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel.

The giving of the law on Mt. Sinai was accompanied by thunder and lightning so that the people were terrified to come near the mountain. God's Law, the thunder and lightning reminded Israel that God was holy and he required obedience if they were going to approach him. It was a solemn gathering.

But we are now not on Mt Sinai, but have come to Mt Zion, the city of the living God, where there is joyful gathering. Why such a contrast?

Scenario 2 :

Exodus 3 (NLT)

4 When the LORD saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
“Here I am!” Moses replied.

5 “Do not come any closer,” the LORD warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. 6 I am the God of your father[c]—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.

1 Corinthians 3 (NLT)

16 Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in[d] you? 17 God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

In one incident the Lord told Moses not to come close and told Moses to take of his sandals because he was standing on holy ground. Now we are God’s temple which is holy and God lives in us. Why such a contrast?

These two scenarios reflect the contrasts between the old and the new covenant. Praise God, we are in the new covenant, the old covenant is now obsolete. It is all because of JESUS.

1 Corinthians 1 (NLT)

30 God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin.

Praise God as now we are in Christ, God who is forever a Holy God sees us as holy because of what Jesus has done for us; Jesus has made us right with God, made us pure and holy and freed us from sin. That is grace, the undeserved enablement of God to allow the Holy God to dwell in us. Rejoice.

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