Discover His heart: He longs for us to know Him as our God. He desires to live with us.
“Then I will live among the people of Israel and be their God, and they will know that I am the Lord their God. I am the one who brought them out of the land of Egypt so that I could live among them. I am the Lord their God.” (45-46) God wants relationship, plain and simple. He wants to live with me, not just visit occasionally, or send cards and emails. He wants to live with me – laugh at my bed head in the morning, hover over my devotional time, go to work with me, be the center of my other relationships and watch me drool in my sleep. Whether or not anyone else in the world wants to be with you or with me, we need to understand that He does!
Before Jesus came to die for our sins, there was a long, detailed process to follow in order for sinful man to fellowship with our magnificently Holy God. These chapters in Exodus detail the purification, sanctification, ritual sacrifice, fragrant incense, anointing and much more that were required to secure relationship with Him. Why all these instructions and details to follow? I’m sure there are many reasons that my mind doesn’t understand, but if God could not even look at Jesus on the cross as He bore our sin, how could He ever live with the Israelites in their sin? Atonement for sins had to be made. From verse 45, we understand that he wanted His people to know that He was their God. He wasn’t just someone they happened upon, stumbled over by accident or met along the way. He wanted them to know Him through an intentional connect.
The death and resurrection of Jesus changed the process that God requires, but not the outcome He desires. Our Holy God is now able to live with us through our acceptance of the ultimate sacrifice of His Son. However, I believe He still desires that we know He is our God, not just someone we happened upon, stumbled over by accident or met along the way. With our busy lives and commitments, it is easy to treat Him like a casual acquaintance rather than the One who lives with us, sleeps and wakes with us, the One with whom we are intimate.
What a heartbreaking moment for God – while sharing with Moses the very details of this intimacy, those He longed to live with were dancing around and worshiping a golden calf. What was Aaron thinking? Every time I read this account, I am amazed that Aaron, a priest of the Most High God, wasn’t immediately toast. Moses interceded to God for Aaron and the people, and God allowed His mercy to supersede His punishment. “So the Lord changed his mind about the terrible disaster he had threatened to bring on his people.” (32:14)
Fortunately for us, we have Someone interceding for us, “Because Jesus lives forever, His priesthood lasts forever. Therefore He is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through Him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.” (Hebrews 7:25) Hallelujah! Mercy allows Him to live with us and also enables the intimacy with us He so desires. When Someone wants us this much, how could we ever choose a substitute?
Moving Forward: My heart is full of His love for me today – His patient, merciful love. I approach this day knowing that He is God and so thankful that I can spend the day with Him.
Tomorrow @ 2 Samuel 20-24