Wednesday, November 16, 2011

ADVENT: Dec. 4

Exodus 3:1-14, 33:18-23, 34:4-7     Key Verse: Ex. 34:6  "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in love and faithfulness."

"How can this be?"

Christmas can best be explained by the love of God.  When Moses wanted to see the glory of God, the LORD passed by and showed Moses as much as he could stand.  The words mercy, compassion, love and faithfulness jump out at me as I look at this encounter in Ex. 33 and 34.  God is describing His basic essence to Moses as that of a loving and faithful God who is willing to come to earth and reveal Himself to the human race.

I am sure that Moses' mind went back to his first wilderness encounter with God which we read about in Exodus 3.  There, God revealed Himself to Moses for the first time in the form of a burning bush.   God told Moses that He had heard the cries of His people and He had come down to rescue them.(vss. 7 & 8).  Later in the conversation, Moses asked God to give him His name.  God said " I AM WHO I AM".  It is a name that means He is the self existent One.  We pronounce it as YaHWeH and it usually appears in English Bibles as LORD(upper case letters).   To tell someone your name is to get personal with him or her.  God wants to have a personal relationship with us.  When Jesus came He said, "before Abraham was, I AM"(John 8:58), using the same wording that God had used with Moses.  Christ's meaning is obvious.  He is the same God who always is, who came down to earth and entered time to rescue His people through Moses.

Advent is a time of hope--of expectation.  Whatever you are going through, the LORD hears your cries and comes to help.    He is the One who has always been, and is able to deliver you.  He has shown that His nature is that of love, mercy, compassion, and faithfulness, so He is also able to deliver you.  Just as the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, so He will incarnate Himself into our lives if we allow Him.  You may be very low, but not too low for the LORD to come down and rescue you.  You may feel that you are on top of the world right now, but the LORD still loves you and wants to be with you to express His love to you and then on to others.  He wants to get personal with us.  He wants to show us as much about Himself as we can stand.  Let us be overwhelmed by the love of God as Moses surely was.

As Moses came down from the mountain, he had a glow that reflected the glory of the LORD.   As we learn more about God and experience Him, we are changed.  Even if we are on the mountain top and must come back down to the real world we can bring His presence with us.  In every situation the LORD loves us and will be with us.  This is the message of Christmas.


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