Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Monday, October 2, 2017
Listen to “Thoughts in Worship 10.02.2017” on Spreaker.
Devotional thought 19 in our devotional series, “Removing the Veil: Sanctuary Living in the 21st Century.” Our subject is: Promise Keepers
Is God Intimidated by Our Weaknesses?
“And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the Lord. And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient. And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words” (Exodus 24:4–8).
I am amazed at how much God has to say about our everyday lives. I mean, many times people need advice and don’t want to hear about the Bible because they want “practical” advice. Read Exodus and Deuteronomy as a case study for God’s counsel on relationships, life, death, worship, business dealings, promises, work life, and you may be amazed too. God provided detailed counsel about everything He deemed important. And where He chose not to give specific details, He provided actionable principles. There’s no need for us to stumble in darkness. God’s Word brings light to the simplest of minds if we are willing to listen.
At this juncture of our sanctuary discovery, we are seeing God outlining how He wanted His people to relate to Him and to other people. His laws and penalties for disregarding them were clear. Since God gives everyone a measure of faith, the people could immediately see the benefit of following God’s guidelines. They promised to do them – full stop. The problem was that their spirits were willing, but their abilities were weak. Nonetheless, Moses sprinkled the blood of their covenant with God on them signifying the binding nature of their agreement to the terms.
Neither their agreement, nor the laws outlined had any power to make them holy. They needed the Lamb of God, the One to whom all of those laws pointed, to seal them with His blood. But, they were getting a lesson they would not soon forget, in the process.
What God Already Knew
God is so good, when you really think about it. He knew, before the people made a promise to obey, that they would break their promise. God knew that they would murmur against Him. He knew that they barely understood what they were doing when they entered into this agreement with God. God knew they would not do all He commanded even though there were penalties for disobeying. This is one of the reasons the blood was so critical. Blood ratified the terms of the covenant, and throughout all of the ceremonies, blood symbolized sin.
As we will discover, since the penalty for sinning is death, they agreed, if the people could ever hope to escape that penalty, they needed an acceptable substitute. Upon Him they could confess their guilt, and He would die for them. That is what the system of sacrifices illustrated. The guilt of repentant people moved symbolically from them, to the sacrifice, to the sanctuary, and after atonement, to the scapegoat, and out of the camp (see Leviticus 16).
Embrace of His Mediatorial Ministry
This is why Jesus’ sacrifice is so critical to sanctuary living. We declare that we have sinned and come short of God’s glory. We have faith in Jesus Christ and His death in our place. We have faith in His mediatorial ministry on our behalf. We trust Him to destroy the devil and his evil angels for their part in our sins when we keep faith in God. We look forward to the day that the universe is completely cleansed from every trace of sin. This is God’s work and a blessing to us.
Is God Intimidated by Our Weaknesses? No. It was because of our weaknesses that Jesus gave His life for us. Because of our weaknesses He has given the Holy Spirit to empower us to live the law He writes in our hearts. Good thing for us, God specializes in giving sufficient grace to overcome every weakness we surrender to Him.