I was struck the other day while reading, how two seemingly opposite characteristics of God are displayed in the same chapter, and I think it is a great illustration of how we should be in awe of God, yet also realise that He loves us with an everlasting and unconditional love.
First God says in a beautiful way how He cared for the Israelites, which shows us how much compassion and care He has for us:
'You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to Myself.' Exo 19:4
Then later on in the same chapter, God warns Moses to tell the people not to try to look at God or they might die.
'And the LORD said to Moses, "Go down and warn the people, lest they break through to gaze at the LORD, and many of them perish.' Exo 19:21
It's a bit like what I read in the next chapter - where Moses tells the people not to fear God, but then to fear God! What does that mean?! I think it shows again the two sides - where we should be in awe and reverence of God, but at the same time we shouldn't be afraid of Him in an anxious way because we know that He loves us, and has mercy and compassion for us beyond anything we know on this earth.
And Moses said to the people, "Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin." Exo 20:20
I know I often quote Matthew Henry, but I do like how he puts things! Here is what he says about this verse:
We must not fear with amazement - with that fear which has torment, which only works upon the fancy for the present, sets us a trembling, genders to bondage, betrays us to Satan, and alienates us from God; but we must always have in our minds a reverence of God's majesty, a dread of his displeasure, and an obedient regard to his sovereign authority over us: this fear will quicken us to our duty and make us circumspect in our walking.
It is easy to get imbalanced in our view of God. We can go to one extreme where we forget that God is to be feared, or we can go to the other extreme where we are afraid of God to the extent that we don't dare to come near Him after we've sinned, even though we've repented, because we feel like He won't accept us. Whereas the Bible clearly says that if we confess our sins, He will forgive us and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
I think it is important that we read through the whole Bible regularly, so that we get the right view of what God is like and get to know Him better. As I read I keep praying that God would show me more of who He is. He is an amazing God!
UK Fellowship Friday Blog Hop
I completely forgot it was Friday today, so this link-up is just a little bit late! I would love you to link up below if you are a Christian living in the UK and have a post that mentions your faith in some way.
If you use the 'get the code' part, please just state who the blog hop is for so that anyone wanting to link up from your blog will know. Thank you!