Why is it that when we are told to not do something we have to do that exact thing? I’m certain we’ve all done that at least once or twice. A wet paint sign so we pop a finger down. Don’t walk on the grass so we step on it. No dogs allowed but we hurry through. Speed limits… need I say more? You can fill in more examples yourselves – and you would even if I told you not to which proves my point.
The Israelites were no different. Exodus 16 is a tale of not doing what we’re told.
Moses (continuing God’s instructions): 19 Don’t try to keep any of it until the morning. Either eat it all, or throw it away.
20 But some people ignored Moses and tried to keep some of it until the next morning.
I can understand this, maybe they wanted a snack before going gathering, or maybe they weren’t quite sure there’d even be more. But still – disobedience. Then comes the Sabbath. They are clearly told, don’t go out because there’ll be nothing. The manna will last. Have a rest.
27 When the seventh day arrived, some of the people ignored Moses and went out to gather it anyway; but there was none to gather.
Ah, I say, I might touch wet paint and speed a tiny (cough?) bit but I would never disobey God when He speaks to me. Hmm…
4 God chose us to be in a relationship with Him even before He laid out plans for this world; He wanted us to live holy lives characterized by love, free from sin, and blameless before Him.
I am meditating on the second part of this verse, God’s plan and purpose for me. His instruction. I was with this same verse around this time last year but right now I can’t get past the word ‘holy’.
When I worship I will often come to a point where I just repeat Holy, Holy, Holy in awestruck praise of a glorious God.
Even now I have to pause a moment and marvel at Him.
But He tells me to be holy as he is holy*. So the holiness in my life ought to be something awe-inspiring because it reflects God. That’s not awe of me but to make people see Him, to point people to Him.
Holy is a word most commonly part of an expletive these days or else applied to something untouchable so how does that work in my life? Honest truth is that is why I am meditating on it and I remain hopeful that as I turn the word over, let it rest and then turn it some more I will understand it more fully and how it changes me. The Holy Spirit will be at work clarifying, sifting, even threshing, to help me. His work is to make me holy, to draw me closer in obedience transforming me into the image of Jesus.
I don’t know what a holy life will look like, nor what effect it will cause in those around me. I do know it’s what God wants for me and so I’ll keep meditating, keep listening and by His grace keep changing.