Behold, I am going to send an angel before you…
We are here, still at the base of the mountain. The Lord has declared His commands and the people cried out to Moses to be their mediator between them and God because they feared Him. Now Moses has stepped closer to the thick cloud of God’s presence that covers the mountain and He listens as God declares the ordinances that the people are to live by as they represent their God in the land He is giving them. God is making sure the people understand what is expected of them before they even enter the promised land.
God expects righteousness, holiness, justice, and obedience from those who carry His name. He has made what He declares to be good and right very clear and we have seen that God has been with the children of Israel every step of the way. He lets them know here at the base of the mountain that He will continue to go before them and be with them. God expects a lot from His children, but He has never expected them to meet His expectations all on their own.
Behold, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. Be on your guard before him and obey his voice, do not be rebellious toward him, for he will not pardon your transgression, since my name is in him. But if you truly obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.
Yes, God would send an angel with them to go before them and He would already have the place prepared for them… but they would have to listen and obey his voice, truly obey. They would have to do all that God said. This was what was expected of the people of God then… and it is what is expected of the people of God still.
However, in and through the shed blood, death, and resurrection of Christ, we have more than an angel that goes before us. Today, on this side of the cross, we have the indwelling of the Spirit of God, Himself. This is why the writer of the book of Hebrews declares,
For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?
At the base of that mountain God commanded that the word spoken through the angel was to be obeyed and those who rebelled would not go unpunished… how dare we think that any less be expected of us who stand not at the base of Mt Sinai, but at the base of a hill called Calvary. We stand not at the bottom of a mountain that is covered in thick darkness, but we stand at the base of Golgotha that is covered with the shed blood of the Light of the world.
Israel stood at the base of a mountain that a loud voice cried out “Do not touch!“, but we stand at the base of a hill and the still small voice cries “Come!” Come, to the cross. Come to Mount Zion and be saved. Come and receive grace and find mercy in your time of need.
However, when you have come, pay close attention to what you hear, and unite it with faith, and obey it in faith (Hebrews 4:1-13). Our God did not play games with the children of Israel and the shed blood of innocent lambs and goats; and He certainly will not play games with the church and the shed blood of His innocent Son, the Lamb of God.
For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. Anyone who set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?
Oh friend, let us not be found guilty of insulting the Spirit of grace. Let us be diligent to enter the place that has been prepared for us (John 14:3, Hebrews 4:11, Revelation 22:14-17). The place prepared is for those who obey, truly obey (John 14:23). The abode is only for those who abide (John 15:4-10).
Be on your guard, obey him and his voice, do not be rebellious toward him, for he will not pardon your transgression, since My name is in him (Exodus 23:21). This was spoken of an angel to the children of Israel. This was spoken of the one who simply carried the name of God with him. This was spoken of a created being that merely carried the authority given him by his Creator.
Precious one, with this in mind, what rises up within your spirit when you read,
And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.
As we continue our journey through the pages of the Old Testament Scriptures we will see that God was very serious about the children of Israel’s obedience to this one who went before them, and to these ordinances He had given them.
We, if indeed the church, are the very body of Christ. The One who the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form has promised to abide in us (Colossians 2:9). The Holy Spirit of God, our Comforter, our Helper, our Convictor, the Spirit of Christ, indwells us. The Law of God is written on our hearts… and yet many of those professing this to be true declare themselves powerless to obey Him. When they do so, they insult the Spirit of grace.
Let us stop making excuses, justifying our disobedience with lies straight from the pit of hell, and let us simply obey, truly obey. Having counted the cost. Knowing full well what our God expects from us; and knowing full well that He never expected us to meet His expectations alone.
You deserve nothing less than one hundred percent obedience from me. I have not an excuse good enough… and every excuse I offer up to You is an insult to the Spirit of grace and the blood of Your Son. He did not die this death for me to live in defeat. Forgive me Father for the lies I have believed, for the cost I have refused to count, and for the times I have taken lightly the amazing gift of strength and might and knowledge and hope that is mine in Christ. I am qualified in Christ, how dare I attempt to disqualify myself simply because I refuse to try to live in obedience. I desire to be presented complete in Christ. I desire to enter that place that You have prepared for me and I desire to live in such a way that You are able to use this vessel to bring others into Your kingdom.
My Jesus it is in Your name I pray,