Friday, March 2, 2007

Deuteronomy 4:7-11 7 "For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the LORD our God whenever we call on Him? 8 "Or what great nation is there that has statutes and judgments as righteous as this whole law which I am setting before you today? 9 "Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons. 10 "Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, when the LORD said to me, 'Assemble the people to Me, that I may let them hear My words so they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.' 11 "And you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire to the very heart of the heavens: darkness, cloud and thick gloom.

This text shows both the transcendence (that is, that God is wholly different from mankind) as well as the immanence of God (namely, the nearness and the fact that God lives and moves among his creatures).

Merrill, in his great commentary on Deuteronomy says:

"The other side of the coin of obedience - and indeed, the divine response to it - is the presence of God among his people (v.7). The theology of the nations at large taught that the supreme gods were remote and inaccessible. Though they were perceived in highly anthropomorphic terms, they also were thought to be so busy and preoccupied with their own affairs that they could scarcely take notice of their devotees except when they needed them. It was in contrast to these notions, then, that Moses drew attention to the LORD, God of Israel, who, though utterly transcendent and wholly different from humankind, paradoxically lives and moves among them. The idea of the immanence of God is ancient, indeed, finding its first expression in the Eden narratives where God "walked about" in the presence of his people."

Have you contemplated today that this God who is completely holy, set apart, righteous, transcendent, just, wrathful, eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and self-existing IS ALSO the same God who is loving, kind, gentle, forgiving, merciful, gracious, immanent and peaceful.

Do you recognize that we do not serve a God who is too remote and inaccessible. Namely, that he would only need us "when they need their subjects." But rather, the God of the Bible is near!
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