Today’s Tasting: Exodus 33-35: We see in this part of Exodus that the Israelites have once again shown their stubborn nature and rebelled against God. At this point, He is ready to wash his hands of them and send them on their way—alone.
“Go to this land full of milk and honey. But I won’t go up with you because I would end up destroying you along the way since you are a stubborn people” –Exodus 33:3 (CEB)
However, because Moses had found grace with God he is successful in pleading a case for the rebellious Israelites and God agrees to continue to lead them on their journey.
The LORD said to Moses, “I’ll do exactly what you’ve asked because you have my special approval, and I know you by name.” – Exodus 33:17 (CEB)
Today’s Nourishment: We have all had times when we turned away from God and decided to make our journey according to our own desires? How often have we chosen to place our priorities somewhere other than with God?
When our focus moves away from God, we get caught up in the things of this world—better jobs, bigger houses, fancier cars. We decide we are in control, and neglect to seek God’s guidance. We have many examples in the Bible and in our own lives of people who choose their own path and then suffer the consequences of those choices, yet we continue to succumb to temptation. Then we wonder why things go awry. Jesus told us very clearly,
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be loyal to the one and have contempt for the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. – Matthew 6:24 (CEB)
I don’t believe this means that we should forego all the pleasures in life. In fact, I believe that God wants us to prosper, have our hearts’ desire, and be truly happy.
You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the field. Your own fertility, your soil’s produce, and your livestock’s offspring—the young of both cattle and flocks—will be blessed. Your basket and your kneading bowl will be blessed. — Deuteronomy 28:3-5 (CEB)
Who among you will give your children a stone when they ask for bread? Or give them a snake when they ask for fish? If you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him. – Matthew 7:9-11 (CEB)
The caveat to this, however, is found in the first commandment:
I am the LORD your God … You must have no other gods before me –Exodus 20:2-3
When we put our jobs, possessions, and social status ahead of God, we are not honoring him as faithful followers. Yet, regardless of how many times we turn away from God and place our focus and loyalties in other directions, God allows us to return to him and shows us compassion and forgiveness.
Our God is a forgiving and loving God. He is faithful, loyal, and righteous. No matter how many times we fail, all we have to do is admit it and he will answer, forgiving our failures and guiding us back onto the path of his glorious will.
What priorities are out of alignment with God in your life?
Tomorrow’s Delight: Exodus 36-38