Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Do we Really Mean What we Say?

Exodus 19:8 Then all the people answered together and said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do.” So Moses brought back the words of the people to the LORD.
Exodus 24:3 So Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD and all the judgments. And all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words which the LORD has said we will do.”

The children of Israel had been delivered from the bondage of Egypt.  They had already met several challenges where they thought they would have been better off to stay in bondage in Egypt than to be walking with the Lord in the wilderness.  One was at the Red Sea when the Egyptians were pursuing them, and again they were delivered by the LORD their God.  They had complained about a lack of water and a lack of food and again the LORD had miraculously provided.  Now they have come to the Mountain of God where Moses has received the moral law and has delivered it to them.  And they say, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do!”  But did they really mean that? 

Apparently, Moses goes up into the mountain several times if I understand this portion of Scripture right.  The first time he receives the moral law and writes it in a book and reads it to the people of Israel.  The second time he gets the tables of stone and the instructions for worshiping the LORD.  He goes up a third time when the broken stones on which the Ten Commandments were written were replaced.  While he is in the mountain that second time, the people corrupt themselves by making a Golden Calf and worshiping it.  Now whether Moses was present or not, the commands had not changed.  They were not to worship any other gods than the LORD and they were not to bow down to idols.  Did they really mean it when they sad that all that the Lord had spoken to them they would do?

Moses being in the mountain for forty days and forty nights is a picture of the day that we live in.  The Lord has ascended to heaven and has promised to come again, but while He tarries what are we doing?  Are we doing what He has asked us to do?  Are we worshiping the way he has asked us to worship or are we corrupting ourselves in much the same way that the Israelites did? 

God builds His church on the truth that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God (Matthew 16:16).  Are we building the church that way or are we using marketing surveys, rock music, programs and any other thing that will appeal to the flesh in us?  When the children of Israel built the tabernacle in the wilderness, it was to be a place where the Lord would dwell among them, but it had to built according to the plan given to Moses in the mount.  Are we building what the Lord wants or what we want?  It would be nice if the two were the same thing, but often they are not.  Often churches claim to avoid teaching doctrine because they say doctrine is divisive.  I think they mean that they aren’t going to deal with the issues of baptism, the different views of the Lord’s supper, the different views of the Lord’s coming and of “Judgment day”.  They are going to make sure that the local gathering of Christians that we call the local church is a place where people are welcome and comfortable even if they are violating the moral law of God and justifying it, and even if they do not understand the new birth.  Traditional Biblical church order including the need for holiness or practical separation from the world is not taught because it is no longer “culturally relevant.”  Worship is defined as high powered music rather than as devotion and obedience to all that the Lord has said.

Christian often complain about the moral problems in the world at large, but unfortunately, most of those problems come into present day church gatherings.  The unsaved have not promised to do all that the Lord has said, but we who claim to know the Lord Jesus as our Savior and Lord should have said that.  If we said that, do we really mean it?

No doubt all of us have problems at time understanding and obeying simple things that please the Lord.  But the answer is not to ignore or disregard what the Lord has said.  We cannot truthfully try to be culturally relevant by changing or ignoring basic Christian principles of morality and worship.  Just as language changes, the expression of some of the things that please the Lord when we worship may change, but the basic principles of worship and morality do not change.    The answer is to have a real desire to do all that the Lord has commanded.  Since we are not Jews, worshiping as Jews, we need to look to the epistles for our instructions.  Of course the epistles will use the Old Testament to illustrate things the Lord is saying to us today and the epistles will help us understand the application of many principles that the Lord taught in the gospels.  But to the extent that we can understand the simple teaching of the epistles, do we have a desire to do all that the Lord says today?

I hope so!

Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of February 2, 2014

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