Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Third Day

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


So Moses went down to the people.  He consecrated them for worship, and they washed their clothes.  He told them, “Get ready for the third day, and until then abstain from having sexual intercourse.”  On the morning of the third day, thunder roared and lightning flashed, and a dense cloud came down on the mountain.  There was a long, loud blast from a ram’s horn, and all the people trembled.   Exodus 19:14-16 (NLT)

When Moses talked with God on the mountain, and then explained God’s ways to the people, they were quick to accept God’s covenant and follow as his people.  Through Moses God gave them instructions on how to prepare for the holy time of covenant-making.  Included in this was three days of sexual abstinence.   Even with appropriate spiritual preparation, when the third day arrived, meeting with God was a moment not many of them would forget:  thunder, lightning and the mother of all trumpet blasts!

Just about every conversation is open for discussion these days; especially conversations having to do with sexual relationships, preferences and personal choice.  They’re all open…until you bring God’s Word into the mix.  The minute you begin to turn in the direction of the healthy limitations God placed on the human family (particularly in the area of sex), you’re either dismissed or verbally attacked as if you have no right to speak.

Isn’t it odd how “tolerance” only tends to go in one direction?

Now, I know we live in an extremely pluralistic culture, and that means getting along (or tolerating) other peoples’ choices without judgment.  It’s not socially acceptable to disapprove of another’s behavior, much less tell them God doesn’t approve.

This generation’s Social or political correctness standards aside, for those who profess faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, Lord and coming King, humanity’s tolerance or preferences has nothing to do with the validity or eternal verity of God’s Word.  It’s true no matter what the culture accepts or rejects.

The fact that someone can choose to reject God’s Word and even shake an angry fist at God, defying God’s will (and not be immediately incinerated) is not proof that the atheists and the ungodly are right; it just proves what God said about God’s patience, allowing humankind to exercise free will.  God’s forbearance and fatherly open arms extend even to those who refuse to believe in him…or worse, those who believe, but refuse to obey.  The only thing it really does show off is our silliness and shallow understanding of the gracious and loving ways of our sovereign Lord.

His patience does, however, have a limit.

In Scripture we see that time after time Israel was blessed and rescued by God’s hand from their persecutors and predicaments.  And time after time, following their vows to walk with their God, Israel went right back to their foolish disobedience. 

America certainly has nothing to brag about in this area; we have pushed God out of the conversation in favor of political polls, and we have caved-in to the outcry of “injustice” by groups demanding their rights.  All the while we turn a deaf conscience to the outcry of God’s Word which demands sexual purity.  Instead we have opted for sexual license against the will of Almighty God. 

And it is not just the LGBTQ community; heterosexual behavior is also appalling.  Sex outside of marriage (both fornication and adultery) is rampantly acceptable in our culture.  Divorce is so commonly accepted there is virtually no difference between the secular culture and church-going group.  

So, what is to become of us?

Well, I’m not willing to claim to be a prophet to tell you the future; I can only proclaim what the Word says…that the ways Israel walked were given as an example for us to learn and so order our walk.

On the morning of the third day God came in thunder and lightning to the nation of Israel, who had promised to walk with God.  And on another morning of the third day, Christ came out of the tomb having judged sin and death.  And there will come another third day – as they used to call it – that great-getting-up morning.  Trust me; you’ve never heard thunder like it will be on that morning!

For You Today

A follower of Christ stands his ground; no matter what the culture thinks.

You chew on that as you hit the Rocky Road today…and have a blessed day!

[1] By Philip De Vere (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

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