God sends across our paths
Even after being instrumental in parting the Red Sea, the manner in which Moses treated his father in law Jethro, as well as, the manner in which he took his father in law’s advice, speaks volumes about Moses’ humility, Exodus 18:7,17-24.. Besides this, even God did not contradict Moses’decision to listen to his father in law’s advice!
This shows us that no matter how greatly we may be used by God, true greatness is determined by the way in which we treat people after accomplishing all those achievements, and whether we are still able to receive sound instruction in humility from those whom God sends across our paths!
God had shown the Israelites special favour because of His covenant promise to their ancestors. However, the time had now come for them to choose obedience to God for themselves if they wanted to be His special possession, a holy Nation and a kingdom of priests unto Him, Exodus 19:5,6. As they agreed to obey God, vs 8, God asked Moses to command them to be sanctified and wash their clothes so as to be ready to witness His coming down on Mount Sinai in the sight of them all, vs 10,11.
Without holiness, no one can see the Lord, Hebrews 12:14, and as they obeyed that command, they got an opportunity to witness one of the most amazing sight in the history of humankind, vs 16-20. During that time God proved His love for them by giving them the law, such that they could walk in a right relationship with God and man, in a bid to restore the relationship that was broken in the garden of Eden from the time of Adam and Eve, Exodus 20. The first thing that God directs Moses to tell them was how an altar had to be built where burnt offerings and peace offerings were to be offered up unto the Lord, and as they did this God would come and bless them for the same, vs 22-26.
Without this altar in our lives, we will be unable to give up our will in order to obey God’s laws and commandments. Laws were then given to them, first in relation to God Exodus 20:1-11, and then laws concerning how one should treat servants, Exodus 21:1-11, how one should settle matters of violence, vs 12-27, laws related to animals, vs 28-36, laws with regard to property settlements, Exodus 22:1-15, laws concerning matters of marriage, 16,17, miscellaneous laws concerning idolatry, sorcery, the treatment of widows, the poor and needy, and laws concerning giving to the Lord too, vs 18-31. As they obeyed these laws, peace and righteousness would rule their lives, homes and Nation, making them a people of distinction and excellence and honour among all the Nations of the world!
Today, the Church is called to display God’s glory by obeying these laws, not just by the letter, but in spirit and truth, because we have the Holy Spirit’s power and are under a New and better Covenant! May we rise up to the occasion and be faithful to this high and holy calling by God’s abundant grace made available to us through Christ Jesus our Lord!