Then the LORD said to Moses, “I will come to you in a thick cloud, Moses, so the people themselves can hear me when I speak with you. Then they will always trust you.”
Moses told the LORD what the people had said. Then the LORD told Moses, “Go down and prepare the people for my arrival. Consecrate them today and tomorrow, and have them wash their clothing. Be sure they are ready on the third day, for on that day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai as all the people watch." (Exodus 19:9-11)
So deep, so profound must be this respect for God's holy presence that no one was even to touch the mountain. The people were to wait upon God to speak to Moses and hear the Lord's words through the Lord's servant.
What a needed reminder! This story makes it clear that we live in a day of pitifully shallow concepts of God. Some of today's contemporary Christian music leaves the impression that God is our buddy—a great pal to have in a pinch. A film star once said of God, "He's my great Big Daddy upstairs." One pop song asks, "What if God were just a slob like us?" That is not the biblical view of God. That is a human being's feeble attempt to make God relevant.
The Puritans, that rigorous people of old, possessed a solidly biblical concept of God. Do you know why it is so crucial for us to recover such a respectful understanding? Because a shallow view of God leads to a shallow life. Cheapen God and you cheapen life itself. Treat God superficially, and you become superficial. But hold God in profoundest respect, and it is remarkable how deep the roots of your spiritual life grow.
God is holy. Exalted. He is the only wise God, the Creator, the Maker, the sovereign Lord. He is the Master. He tells me what to do, and I have no safe option but to do it. He offers no alternative, no multiple choice. We have but one directive, and that is to do His will. We reaffirm that truth in our times with Him.
But not today. Today He's our pal, our understanding buddy, our ever-available bellboy. No, He is not! The Lord is our God. He does not bow to our hurried pace, but in silence He waits for us to meet His demands. And once we slow down enough to meet Him, He is pleased to add incredible spiritual depth to our otherwise shallow lives.
What has been your concept of the Lord? Who is your God? Be honest, now. Does He look anything like the God of Mount Sinai?
Taken from Great Days with the Great Lives by Charles Swindoll. Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll. Used by permission of HarperCollins Christian Publishing. www.harpercollinschristian.com
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