Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. Then they said to Moses, 'You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.'
And Moses said to the people, 'Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.' So the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was.
Is God in every uncontrollable force of nature? Even disease? Even COVID-19?
If so, why?
First let me remind myself and others of that death is not the do-all and end-all. Death is a doorway every person passes through.
Do we want the people we love to die? Of course not! They are vital and priceless. When they leave, a gaping hole is torn in the fabric of our lives, so we wait until God Personally mends it... and us.
Do we want people to suffer? Of course not! Human suffering is a grievous trial, an unfolding mystery. Eventually, we begin to see glimmers of light and purpose: how God was in the midst of the storm.
One result? Our faith grows stronger.
Corona Virus is a grievous trial and unfolding mystery. But God is in its midst. Did He create it? No! No more than He created sin or evil. Yet, He will hold our hands through it and all of its repercussions: physical, financial and social.
Because of Jesus, we no longer need Moses or a priest to speak or listen to God for us. We have a direct line. Our Father invites us to pour out our fears, uncertainties and pain.
He invites us to a closer relationship. He invites us to examine our values, conduct and goals. Speaking for me:
1) I need to turn to God more often and more continually: to pray without ceasing.
2) I need to reprioritize: God first. His will first. I must steadily seek His guidance.
3) I need to examine my heart and conduct... and seek diligently to discover my sins, confess them and repent.
4) I need to love my kin and neighbors better.
# Uncontrollable Circumstances (Part 3)
* Bible Commentaries on Exodus 20:20
* 'This law, which is so extensive that we cannot measure it, so spiritual that we cannot evade it, and so reasonable that we cannot find fault with it, will be the rule of the future judgment of God, as it is for the present conduct of man. If tried by this rule, we shall find our lives have been passed in transgressions. And with this holy law and an awful judgment before us, who can despise the gospel of Christ? And the knowledge of the law shows our need of repentance. In every believer's heart sin is dethroned and crucified, the law of God is written, and the image of God renewed. The Holy Spirit enables him to hate sin and flee from it, to love and keep this law in sincerity and truth; nor will he cease to repent' (Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary).
* 'That his fear may be before your faces; not a slavish fear of death, of wrath, and damnation... but a reverence of the divine Majesty, an awe of his greatness and glory, a serious regard to his commands, delivered in so grand a manner... That ye sin not.' (Gill's Exposition of the Bible).
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Fear series.