DISTANT GOD AND ABBA'S FACE
When faced with options, when does choosing the lesser option actually become the greater? These are important life lessons as we follow Jesus.
It is a timeless choice that echoes through history. Whom will you choose? Which road will you take? What will you follow?
Consider what happened to Israel when Moses was up on Mount Sinai receiving God’s Law. After waiting a long time for his return, the people began to question if there might be another god who could lead them out of this wilderness. And so they got the religious leaders to come up with a solution. The result was everyone gave up some gold so that a golden calf god could become the new saviour. Maybe this will get them out of the wilderness.
The ensuing story includes a conversation between God and Moses where God says that he will give the people all that were promised as a severance package, but He would part ways. They would still get their house in Canaan, but God wanted a divorce. He would not go to the Promised Land with them.
The people’s choice to follow the cash cow was heart-breaking and demonstrated their discontent with God. The jewellery they wore was a reminder of the jewellery they gave up to have a golden calf god. It was the lipstick on the collar of the unfaithful man and the lover’s shirt that she wore home. It signified the broken fellowship and fidelity to God.
Like an estranged couple with a mediator, God and his people relied on Moses to pass along messages. Instead of the Tabernacle in the midst of the people, Moses had to leave the camp to talk to God.
Can you see the longing heart of the people? They saw the cloud descend to the entrance of Moses’ tent of meeting and a man who could be personal with their estranged God. They saw this and worshipped from a distance.
The work of Jesus opens the path of reconciliation. We no longer have to stand back and worship God from afar as he speaks to others. We can make our way to the tent of meeting and enter in to a personal face-to-face encounter with God. Will you choose distant God or Abba’s face?