Advent Journey Day 24
The Word of God
A forty day journey brought Moses and the Nation of Israel to Mount Sinai to receive the Word of God. Moses would go up the mountain three times. Each time lasting forty days. The little they had learned is tested in Moses absence. The leadership, priests, and judicial system caves to the demands of the throng, a gold calf is created and worshiped.
Progress depends on knowing what is acceptable and unacceptable, just and unjust, holy and abominable. The Word of God is the key to success, for the Nation, Leadership, Priests, Judges, and Prophets. Ultimately each individual’s success is dependent on following the Word of God. To follow you must hear it, learn it, read it, and discuss it.
Write it Down
Yesterday we read that God told Moses to write down what happened with Amalekites at Rephidim. That was the first mention of a written memorial. It was just days before they arrived at Mount Sinai to listen to God. We know they spoke a different language than Egypt but this is the first mention of a written language, it had been verbal.
An oral conversation has limitations for accuracy and longevity. A simple game of telephone reveals the limits of accuracy for a statement. The depth and complexity of what God was going to share needed to be exact. God dictated and Moses wrote. Still great discussions and debates rage over what God was implying or meant with specific words or phrase structure.
Sharing stories and expectations from generation to generation depends on faithfulness. Just one generation, unhappy with the expectations or the previous patriarch can modify or omit portions. If one generation turns away and doesn’t share the whole of the Word of God could be lost. Man is not faithful or consistent. God’s way of preserving His Word required a written account.
The Word to Moses
Moses wrote the first five books in the Bible, called the Pentateuch. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. It is sometimes referred to as the Law because it does include the Ten Commandments, the Temple protocol, and Rules for Society. It’s much more.
It also contains many stories, of where the world began, the promises, and covenants. It details moments of great success and righteousness alongside acts of faithlessness and failure. The choice between good and evil at all levels, individual, family, cities, and nations. No perfect people can be held up as the one to replicate. Each protagonist has moments of utter failure, a nemesis, and clear consequences or mercy.
It is commonly referred to as the Torah; instruction, doctrine, and law. This is a limited view of the Word of God. The ancient term Yarah reveals the life within the text; show, direct, instruct. It is more than objects, it’s actively showing, directing, and instructing to the reader and student of the text. Simple enough for a child to understand but complex enough to challenge the lifelong student. It’s a verb not a noun.
Israelite’s refer to the time on Mount Sinai as God giving the Word. Not Moses receiving it. This shows the continuing action of giving to any individual at any time in any location. Not just to Moses. When you begin to study the Word of God for yourself you learn and grow. In time you encounter the same passages you studied before only there is new insight, relevant and timely Wisdom.
Word Preserved and Expanded
Over the next several thousand years God’s Word was followed, lost, and found. God was faithful to hide it when some tried to destroy it. God inspired others to write other books to expand the breath while slowly revealing more of His plan. Some books are historical or poetic worship preserved to continue the Journey of Israel toward the Promised Son. Other books are written as accounts of specific Prophets of God, some for specific times and others to restore hope in God’s Salvation at the fullness of time.
Lamentations 3:22-26 New International Version (NIV)
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” 25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; 26 it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
Our Journey has come almost exclusively from the Pentateuch, or Torah. A few exceptions include Jonathan, Samuel, and the Girl with purple hair. These all have roots in the first five books of the Bible. God told Abraham from His seed would come Nations, and Kings – One of his descendants would be David. Foretold in Genesis and revealed in 1 Samuel.
The Word of God is an Advent Journey. As we draw closer to God, His plan and His will for our life, He draws closer to us. His Word shows, directs, and instructs us in how the world works, how to interact with others, and how to be the best individual we can be. But the Word of God shows, directs, and instructs is about Him.
Above all God meets us personally and individually. This starts with the Word of God.
It’s your turn. What has God shown you over the last twenty four days? Do you know more about Him? Do you know more about yourself? Has the Word of God spoken to a deep or dark place and brought light or peace? I would love to hear about it. Comment, like, and share. Your words may be exactly what the next person needs to hear.
©2015 Elayne Cross