Life beyond the wilderness
Exodus 20: 1-20
And God spoke all these words: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the Earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand (generations) of those who love me and keep my commandments. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.
For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the Earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
When the people saw the thunder and lightning, and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.
Moses said to the people, Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.
In nearly every villain/hero action movie, the villain tries to kill innocent civilians. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the hero saves the day. It’s shock and awe. Most often the rescued simply marvel and ask, “Who was that who saved us?” In some cases, they even ask, “what do you want me to do?”
God is the first and ultimate hero in the history of the universe. God rescues and saves his people and all who seek him. In the midst of the crossing the vast wilderness and harsh desert, God does not leave his people guessing about who he is and what he expects. He demonstrates in the chapter (the giving of law) that he moved first and now reveals his intent for them to respond accordingly.
In the midst of whatever wilderness experience you may be going through, you are not alone. The son of God has provided your salvation. You no longer fear bondage and slavery to sin. You have been set free. God acted first. He died for you. Yes, you may very well be in the hardest portion of your life’s journey, but you are not alone. Moreover, God has shown you how to live in the midst of it. By faith and obedience, stay true to his call upon you. Jesus said to those who worry about life’s provisions (food, water and clothing), “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you.” It’s because you know him and trust him that you know you can follow him especially in the wilderness!