Lesson Twenty Five
GOD SPEAKS HIS LAW
The cancer diagnosis came unexpectedly. My husband was a young man and we had two young children. It was the beginning of apprehension, medical appointments, and surgeries. Early on he decided to be anointed. It seemed the right thing to do—take the problem directly to God not later when hope was lost, but in the beginning where confusion and anxiety begged for His presence. We will never forget our pastor’s response. Not his lack of acceptance, but the directions. My husband was to select those he wished to surround him during the anointing. For three days prior, all involved were to seek God fervently in prayer and confession, to prepare to meet a Holy God. One individual dropped out because he felt he could not meet the requirements. Exodus 19 became real and applicable. One does not simply walk into the presence of God.
Exodus 19 became real and applicable. One does not simply walk into the presence of God.
My oldest daughter was engaged! Immediately the wedding planning began. The usual decisions of date, time, invitations, colors, and venues occupied our time. How she would look was the other. She selected the right dress, arranged for her hair and makeup, and planned for her groom’s first glimpse on this important day. For her, it also involved music. She listened to all kinds of music for her bridal processional, until deciding on “Te Deum Prelude” by Marc-Antoine Charpentier (https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=-ui5_MP3Vws).
Everything was planned and orchestrated. As the music began on the pipe organ, the congregation turned expectantly toward the closed doors at the back of the sanctuary. After 20 seconds of anticipation, the organ hit a crescendo as the double doors swung open revealing the bride. She proceeded triumphantly down the aisle toward her groom. At the end of the aisle, there was silence. The next moment would begin the covenant ceremony.
She proceeded triumphantly down the aisle toward her groom. At the end of the aisle, there was silence.
Exodus 19 and 20 are about God. Often, we are encouraged to think of God as our Best Friend or our Daddy. While He is absolutely one who cares and loves us more than any earthly individual, we must never forget who He is. To stand in the presence of God without being prepared is to forget His ultimate sovereignty. He is the Creator of the world absolutely focused on every minute detail of our lives, sending thousands of angels if necessary to watch and protect us. But He is holy. He reminds the Israelites of this as they prepare to meet Him at the base of Mt. Sinai.
Chapter 20 sets up the divine encounter—the moment before God will speak His covenant in the form of the 10 commandments. A black cloud descends the mountain veiling Jesus with an entourage of angels attending Him. There is thunder, lightning, and the sounds of trumpets followed by silence.
God has arrived.
In Exodus 19, we find one of the examples of a theophany. Prior to the coming of Jesus in the New Testament, the Old Testament had theophanies—the appearance of God. In Exodus 19, He appears in the form of a dark cloud with thunder and lightning. Here are some others:
- Genesis 18: God appeared to Abraham in the form of a man, walking with two others.
- Genesis 32: God appeared to Jacob, again in the form of a man, wrestling with him until daybreak.
- Exodus 3: God appeared in the form of a burning bush.
- Exodus 13: God appeared in the form of a cloudy pillar by day and a pillar of fire by night.
- Job 38: God appeared in a whirlwind and challenged Job by a series of questions.
Prophets such as Isaiah and Ezekiel saw visions of God in His heavenly temple. David appears to have had such an experience. Read his account in Psalm 18:6-19.
Making it Real
God’s appearances are not limited to the Bible. Many share stories where God has demonstrated His power on their behalf. Here’s one. Why not read it for family worship?*
To read or listen to the full story, click the link: https://adventist.news/news/the-protection-of-god
This story comes to us from Pastor Geoffrey Mbwana, who served as one of the general vice-presidents at the General Conference.
*Edited from a story told by Ted N.C. Wilson on May 6, 2021.
Respond & Share
How has God shown Himself to you lately? Share your answers in the comments.
Merle Poirier writes from Silver Spring, Maryland, where she works as the operation manager for Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines as well as the designer for KidsView, a magazine for 8-12-year-olds. She enjoys spending time with her family including being the grandmother of two active little boys, who greatly enjoy Starting With Jesus.
Coming next week:
“HOW WE LOVE GOD“
Based on Exodus 20:1-7, Patriarchs and Prophets pp. 305-307;
The Story of Redemption p. 141