Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tuesday, March 3rd: Exodus 34-35, James 3 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Exodus 34-35; James 3

Doing a last minute switch and posting for Nathan today - however, I didn't have much time, so I'm recycling a previous post on this same passage....

Yesterday I posted about sin and our response to it, specifically pursuing the holiness of God so that we will develop a righteous anger towards sin resulting in experiencing God's grace, mercy and healing.

At the end of yesterday's passage Moses had asked to see God's glory and in today's passage God shows him His glory this way.....
Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation." (34:5-7)emphasis mine
When Moses asks for a demonstration of God's glory, God not respond with a display of His power and majesty, but rather with His love. And what an incredibly balanced definition of love - compassion, grace, faithfulness combined with justice and consequences for sin.

Sin has serious consequences and affects future generations. We need look no further than alcoholism, divorce and child abuse, rampant in our society today, to see how sadly true this is. Less obvious sins such as selfishness and greed can also be passed down. But, thankfully, we can break these generational sins through the mercy of God the Father made possible by the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit within us.

The next thing that jumped out at me was the comments in my Life Application Bible about the radiant face of Moses.
Moses' face was radiant after he spent time with God. The people could clearly see God's presence in him. How often do you spend time alone with God? Although your face may not light up a room, time spent in prayer, reading the Bible, and meditating should have such an effect on your life that people will know you have been with God. (emphasis mine)
Does my life reflect the fact that I have been with God?

Chapter 35 deals once again with tabernacle construction and details. One thing that continues to jump out at me in these passages in the constant mention of special abilities and skills. God has gifted each of us with special abilities and skills that He expects us to use for His glory. Even the abilities that are not considered religious (such as construction and tapestry) we are to develop and use for the glory of the One who gifted us with them.

It reminds me of the NT parable of the talents in Luke 19, and the fact that God expects us to develop the talents He's given us. They are not really ours. They are His and have been given to us for a purpose - His glorification!

Psalm 33:3 Sing to him a new song; play skillfully and shout for joy. (emphasis mine)
The talents and abilities that God has given us are not to be wasted. We can waste them by not developing them (whether the reason is laziness, not bothering to find out what our talents are) or by using them for our glory instead of God's.

Now for some new thoughts on our James passage.

What jumped out at me was how important it is for us to measure what we say.  Often we need a filter between our brain and our mouths!   Our words can do so much damage, and they cannot be unsaid.  We need to remember to use our words to build people up, not tear people down.

 Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Exodus 36-38; James 4


Nathan Reimer said...

A good comparison for me, about how the little tongue can cause great problems, is putting something on the internet that isn't true. This doesn't take long to do, a few seconds of typing, but can cause a lifetime of problems for the target. A good reminder for me to watch what I say, and to make sure my facts are straight before I start talking.

Pamela said...

The tongue reference stood out for me too:

but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

I am totally guilty of using my tongue loaded with deadly poison. It is probably my biggest struggle. I am a work in progress.

Conrad said...

"With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness."
James 3:9 - NIV

As I read this verse the word double mindedness (if that is a word) came to mind. People who hear, but don't act. Keep one law, but not another. Praise God, and curse humans.

I am by no means a germaphob, but I have to wash my hands before I eat. I am always careful for what is about to go into my mouth, this was a great reminder for me to be careful of what I am about to have come out of my mouth.