In the name of the Father and of the +Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
When the Lord called Moses He did it on Mount Sinai (A.K.A. Horeb) in a burning bush. (Exod. 3:1-6) He told Moses, “I will be with you and here is the sign of My sending you: you will know I have sent you when you come back here with My people and you serve Me on this mountain. Then you’ll know it was Me who sent you.” (Exod. 3:12) In other words, “When you have done it, you know I sent you to do it.” So the Lord was with him. It gets done, for the Lord sent Him, and they come back to the mountain where the Lord reveals who He is to Moses in 10 words or commandments.
And that is Our Lord’s starting point: “Who am I? I am your God. What have I done? I saved you. From what? From slavery in Egypt. I am the saving God. The gift giving God. I give you freedom. (Exod. 20:2) So now, that we have determined who I am, what does My freedom mean for you? Who are you as my free people? What gifts am I giving you?”
“First, Myself. I will be your God. (Exod. 20:3-6) Have no other “gods”—don’t worship, trust in or hope in ideas, statues, forces of nature, just Me. I am giving you Myself to take care of you, to save you, to be your God.”
“Next I’m giving you rest—not just for you bodies, but a break from your labours so that you can take time to rest your souls in My life saving word. (Exod. 20:8-10) For I am the Lord your God who saves you. Call upon me in the day of trouble. (Ps. 50:15) Come unto Me all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28-29)
“And having been loved by Me in these ways, loving Me in these ways, I want you to love each other. (Mark 12:#1; Lev. 19:18) Thus, I want you to love and honour the parents I give you. (Exod. 20:12) For family is the basic unit from which flows all of My good gifts. In this fallen world families break down and are broken by sin. Parents don’t always do right by their children. (Eph. 6:4) But children, I bless you with parents to take care of you, to teach you, to provide for and protect you. So honour them. And not only them, but all the authorities I place in your life. (Rom. 13:1-5) For by this command I am giving you peace and good order. I am establishing My order (1 Cor. 14:33), My authority to bless and provide for you through parents. For I am your true Father. (Eph. 3:14-15) And when My order is honoured by parents and children alike, then there is not only length of days added to your life but quality of life.” (Eph. 6:1-4; Exod. 20:12; Heb. 13:17)
“And if you are going to want physical good for your neighbour then you must honour each other: honour your families, your marriages, your bodies. (Exod. 20:14) For your bodies are powerful. They are you. (1 Cor 6:18-20) They are a blessing from Me to be used the way I designed them to be used. (1 Cor. 6:13b-16) Your sexual identity, your marriage is such a powerful blessing to you and your children that when it goes wrong it is one of the most cursed things on earth.” (Prov. 17:1; 21:9; 25:4)
“After the gifts of authority and peace, the blessings of life, of marriage, the rest is less important, but still crucial. I have given you a body. So now I am giving you what you need to provide for that body and for your family: a roof over your head, clothes on your back, food in your belly. Possessions. The basic needs of life. So don’t steal from each other (Exod. 20:15) for when you do you deprive each other of life!”
“Finally, I give you the gift of satisfaction with all that I have given you: your physical blessings and your relationships. (Exod. 20:17) Do not covet. Don’t crave or lust for stuff or relationships which I haven’t given you. I have blessed you. If you’ve messed that up, repent and seek reconciliation. For I am a gift giving God, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and mercy. I give abundantly. I give enough that you can be more than satisfied. (Eph. 3:20) And if you aren’t don’t turn to world to seek what you want. Turn to Me. For I am the source of every good gift.” (James 1:17)
This is what happened on Mount Sinai. The Lord God told them who He was and gave them so many blessings and a brand new identity in Him. But their own sinful nature, their dissatisfaction took hold in no time, remember two weeks ago when we heard what people at the foot of the mountain got up to while Moses up on the mountain getting the 10 commandments? (Exod. 32:1-6) They made an idol, sacrificed to it and bowed down to it. Then they did as the nations do when worshipping their “gods”—they had a sex, drugs, and rock and roll party. (Exod. 32:6) They turned to their former life of slavery. (Eph. 2:1-6)
Up on the mountain the Lord says, “I am sick and tired of this people. Take them on up to the Promised Land. I will send an angel before you to give you the land. But I won’t go with you because they are stubborn and unbelieving.” (Exod. 33:1-3)
Moses that if the Lord does not go with them, that means death. They are God’s people. His name is on them. He had just promised to be their God and to go with them wherever they go. So in faith Moses gets bold before the Lord, “No Lord, the only thing that makes us your people is You being with us. Your presence makes us special, separate, holy, Your nation. Your name upon us, Your presence with us that’s who the people of God are. A people blessed by You, not only with abundant gifts, but with the Lord Himself right there with us. So Lord come with us, and not only that, but show me all Your goodness. Show me Your glory.” (Exod. 33:12-16)
In +Jesus’ name, Amen.
—Pastor David Haberstock
Epiphany Lutheran Church
Thunder Bay, ON