Stop and thank God for being present with you today. Ask for God’s guidance as you hear God’s voice through scripture and the writer.
Exodus 19:1-9a (NRSV)
On the third new moon after the Israelites had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day, they came into the wilderness of Sinai. They had journeyed from Rephidim, entered the wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness; Israel camped there in front of the mountain. Then Moses went up to God; the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the Israelites: You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine, but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the Israelites.”
So Moses came, summoned the elders of the people, and set before them all these words that the LORD had commanded him. The people all answered as one: “Everything that the LORD has spoken we will do.” Moses reported the words of the people to the LORD. Then the LORD said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, in order that the people may hear when I speak with you and so trust you ever after.”
How often after a stressful day at the office or with the kids do we feel distant from God? How often after failing in our battle against sin do we reluctantly vow to try harder next time while half-heartedly seeking God’s forgiveness? Yet the next day we find ourselves in the same situation, with God once again seeming distant.
If you feel distant from God, take note of the hope God offered the Israelites in Exodus 19. When the people felt that God had deserted them, leaving them at the mercy of the approaching Egyptian army, God was looking out for them. Even before the people entered into a covenant with God, God loved them.
The Israelites repeatedly broke the covenant God had established with them. God was constant, always there and seeking a relationship with the people, but they wandered away. They worshipped idols and mistreated others, but God never left them and God will never leave us. When God feels far away, it is because we have wandered away, allowing sin to separate us from God.
Despite our sinfulness, we can come to God because Christ intercedes on our behalf. We cannot earn God’s love any more than the Israelites could. God loved us first. How will you respond to that love today?
God, thank you for being so faithful and good to your people. Sometimes I feel distant from you, and feel like you aren’t listening. Help me to come to you in faith regardless of how I feel. Help me to be confident when I confess my sins to you by remembering that you love me enough to have sent your son so that I might have life. Thank you! In Christ I pray. Amen.
Go with God.