I was reading in Exodus 19 and 20 when God has led the Israelites out of slave-driving Egypt, and He calls them to this special mountain. Then he like sets the whole mountain on fire and there's this big long, increasingly loud blast from a ram's horn, the mountain actually shakes, and God's voice booms out of the whole big mess.
The whole things smelled a little bit like the Wizard of Oz putting on a show with levers and curtains to scare the people who had come to see him. I started to ask myself, was God really just a tiny, insecure creature that needed to feel big?
But he calls Moses up to talk to him and says, tell the people I will come to them in a pillar of smoke to be with them. Because I choose them and want to be with them.
Moses is like, cool, and he goes down to chat with his peeps. But they're like, no way, dude. Keep that thing away from us. You talk to him. We basically were skidding our pants down here.
And this seems to break Moses' heart. He says, "Guys, wait, no, no, no! He wants to be close to us. He just presented himself this way to keep you from sinning."
And I realized this is such a special relationship with have with God. This is a huge, holy and vastly powerful being and yet He wants to be close and intimate with us. I think we're pretty good at either picturing god as a pretty benign buddy who we can chat with and we don't have to really stop sinning for, or a distant, judgmental grandpa-like figure criticizing our actions from afar. And because we hate the criticism we just decide to put up with him at Christmas.
But what would it look like to hold both in tension. When we sit down with God for an intimate conversation, sipping our coffee next to Him, would it actually change us more if we remembered we were holding the same space as the God that shakes mountains?
Raw Spoon, 2-4-19