Monday, March 1, 2010
MY NECK IS STIFF!
Exodus 33:1-6 (NRSV)
Abraham's descendants lament
The Lord said to Moses, "Go, leave this place, you and the people whom you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, and go to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, 'To your descendants I will give it.' I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; but I will not go up among you, or I would consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people."
When the people heard these harsh words, they mourned, and no one put on ornaments. For the Lord had said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, 'You are a stiff-necked people; if for a single moment I should go up among you, I would consume you. So now take off your ornaments, and I will decide what to do to you.'" Therefore the Israelites stripped themselves of their ornaments, from Mount Horeb onward.
I don’t know about you, but I am happy-glad that God does not consume me every single time that I act in a stiff-necked fashion!
As a human being, I confess that I am prone to sin. I do not always love God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength, neither do I love my neighbor as myself. Indeed, God is right when God calls me stiff-necked for that as what I am!
I know that I am not alone in my trouble, for the Bible says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, there is none righteous, no not one!
In the case of the Israelites, they were miraculous delivered out of the bondage of slavery in Egypt by God’s strong hand, only to murmur and complain as they wandered in the wilderness.
In our case, we are often angry, lazy, prideful, lustful, envious, gluttonous, rude and impatient as we pursue our endless desire for money and stuff!
Lord, have mercy on us!
I am so glad to notice that although the Israelites were stiff-necked, God still kept God’s promise to deliver them to the Promised Land. And although we are a sinful and stiff-necked people, God’s Love still gave Jesus to die on the cross to save us from our sin and gift us with eternal life!
God is a promise keeper, my friends! Although we miss the mark, God never does. And God has promised to deliver us safely to our blessed and eternal home in the Heavens.
Now, ain’ta that good news?!
God thanks that you are a loving and forgiving God. You are so patient, merciful, and kind. You proved this to be true when you gave Jesus to die on the cross to save me from my sin and gift me with eternal life. I am so glad that Jesus did not stay dead, but was resurrected on the third day. I want you to know that I am so sorry that I sin and miss the mark! I truly want to be like Jesus in my heart. Please forgive me of all of my sin and fill me with the Holy Spirit so that I can share your love with others. I pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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