Thursday, February 23, 2017

A daily choice

Sapphire - Image: Pixabay
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 24:1-18

TO CHEW ON: "Then Moses went up, also Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity.” Exodus 24:9,10

Yesterday we saw that God’s Kingdom is not only talk but also action. It comes in power—signs, wonders, and miracles - 1 Corinthians 4:20.

In Exodus 24 we have an example of one such supernatural phenomenon. Moses, Aaron, his sons Nadab and Abihu, and the 70 elders Moses had appointed to help him, went up Mount Sinai for a leadership retreat.

What happened there no doubt blew their minds. They saw God in a setting so beautiful it practically defied describing, though Moses tried: “And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity” - Exodus 24:10. That day they ate and drank together with their heavenly Host. In recounting this, Moses seemed incredulous that they had survived - Exodus 24:11.

We would think that such an experience would change these men forever—that they would be staunchly loyal to Yahweh and would never give Moses another moment of trouble. But that’s not what happened.

At the institution of Tabernacle worship, Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu were careless about God’s instructions, “offered profane fire,” and died as a result - Leviticus 10:1,2.

The elders were swayed, along with the rest of the congregation, by the discouraging report of the ten spies who insisted they could never take Canaan (Numbers 13:27-14:30). They may well have been among the 250 leaders who joined Korah, Dathan, and Abiram’s rebellion and met their demise then - Numbers 16:1,2,35.

All that to say, the sight of God’s gory, the witnessing of signs and wonders is not a guarantee either that people will stay loyal to God.

Contrast their falling away with Joshua, one of the faith-filled spies who became Israel’s leader after Moses died. He stayed the course. At the end of his life, he left Israel with a challenge that we today can still rise to: Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” - Joshua 24:15 (emphasis added).

Though he spoke to them on a particular day of decision, “this day” is always our day of decision. May we choose God each day of our lives!

Dear Father, help my faith in You to stay strong whether I “see” You or whether I don’t. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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