Before we took off for our flight I had been spending time in Exodus 33-34. Several things have struck me with the two chapters, but I just want to take time to tell you two of them and how I hope they shape our time in India, along with my desire for these to be an intimate part of my life.
In the beginning of Exodus 33, the Lord tells the Israelites that He will give them everything, except Himself. He says that He will give them land and that their enemies would be defeated, yet He would not give them Himself, because they were a “stiff-necked” people.
If you go on and read in this account, although the Israelites were so stubborn, they were not yet COMPLETELY hard hearted. The response they gave the Lord was one of grief! They said this was terrible news. They would not go.
The passage goes on to talk about how God and Moses spoke together as friends speak to one another. This passage is also a great echo of when Jesus says (in the book of John) that God will no longer call the disciples servants, but friends. This is my prayer! I pray God would be the same way in my life. I desire this friendship. I need this friendship. Without this type of relationship and communication we will not go on into India, or life, in the proper way.
The second aspect has been how God is called Jealous in Exodus 34. This is His name, not just an attribute. Many people may be incredibly averse to this type of description of God, but we must recognize that it is only bad when the compilation is bad. God is good and does good. Jealous has called us into the greatest reality we could ever know, namely, relationship with Him.
Many times I have seen how God is “jealous to discipline me when I get out of line,” yet this is not the totality of or proper outlook on jealousy. He definitely will discipline those He loves, but we must see that His jealousy is intimate. His jealousy actively calls us to Himself and thus the fact that He just talked about His conversations with Moses as being “like one speaks with a friend” is not diametrically opposed to His jealousy. He is not jealous because He is needy (which every time we are jealous is because of being needy), but more from the sense of knowing He intimately desires for us to know who He is and what He is doing. I pray I would know the intimacy of His jealousy more. I pray we would know Him as Jealous Friend.
Please join us in prayer as we seek this for His Voice and also personally.