While reading Romans 1 last night with my favorite wife, I was already amazed by the 5th verse! “That is basically the whole theology of the Bible” I said. And so I wanted to share this gem with you, one that may be quickly overlooked as so many introductions to the epistles are.
(Romans 1:1-5 NKJV)
Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures…
Ever read this passage and was confused?
Jhn 8:56 – (Jesus speaking)Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”
Jhn 8:57 – “You are not yet fifty years old,” the Jews said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!”
Jhn 8:58 – “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!“
What happens when we give our whole life to God? What does that Christianese cliche even mean? Did you know God doesn’t just ask for your Sunday mornings and your nighttime prayers? He asks for it all. Here is what it looks like when you believe God is more qualified to run my life than you are.
One day while Julia and I were driving I looked in my rear view mirror and happened to see two white plastic bags. One was flying around through the air in circles due to the high winds that day, the other bag was stuck on top of a barbed wire fence shredded to pieces. I had a sudden revelation! I want to be like the plastic bag that was carried and blown freely by the wind, not the one that’s stuck on the fence ripped to pieces. Which one fits you? Talking spiritually – do you feel free and guided by God? Or do you feel stuck and injured, unsure of how to break free from your current season in life? I pray that you’re the free one but if not then I pray that God will help you find your freedom and guidance in Him. God wants us to excel, to enjoy life, to achieve things, not to remain forever in poverty, purposelessness, and false humility. However, finding God is a two way street – as you go after God, He is allowed (by your actions) to come after you. Trusting in God for your every need and answer is the best place to live because He never disappoints.
Moses’ Shining Face
God tells Moses to carve out two more stone tablets (remember his last trip down the mountain led to him shattering the first set) because he once again going to meet with God on Mount Sinai. So Moses goes up the mountain again for 40 days without food or water. God spells out to Moses the requirements of a simple covenant in which God says if Israel will obey His voice they will be victorious over their enemies. After his meeting with God, Moses goes back down the mountain and his face shines supernaturally, perhaps because of his prolonged exposure to God’s glory. Apparently this was bothersome because he wore a veil to cover it up. Many have made connections between the shining of Moses’ face with Jesus’s transfigured body, angel’s luminous presence, and Adam & Eve’s state before sin. Some say that Adam and Eve shone with glorious light until they sinned which resulted in them loosing their glorified image and seeing themselves as “naked”. Perhaps our glorified or resurrected bodies will shine as Moses’s face did, we don’t know. But let’s just agree that when you meet with God, there are serious and visible changes!
The Golden Calf
The account of the Israelites worshiping the golden calf is among one of the most famous stories of the Bible, and probably the only one that most people know of when they think about the book of Exodus, or the Old Testament. Moses had been on the mountain for 40 days getting what I call the “Holy Spirit download” of the Law and perhaps Genesis as well. Can you imagine being in God’s presence for 40 days? Moses did this on 3 different notable occasions (and perhaps more) and fasted during some of them. If we set apart this much time to be with God imagine what we would know, what we would have experienced, and how much closer we would be to our God!
Victory over Amalek
At the end of chapter 17 in Exodus is a short story of Israel’s engagement in battle against Amalek and his forces. As strange as it sounds, somehow Moses discovered that when he raised his rod, the Israelites began to win in the battle, and when he lowered it they began to loose. I wonder if Moses caught on to God using him and his rod, probably everywhere he went he took that rod, you never know when God would ask him to use it. God turned it in to snakes and back in to a rod before Pharaoh, He used it to part the Red Sea, He used it to bring water out of a rock, and now to be victorious over the enemy. Perhaps our modern equivalent to Moses’s rod is the memorized and spoken Word of God. We lean on it and God uses us as we use it (the scriptures) in obedience to Him.