You couldn’t handle it

Good morning everyone,
 
Our theme for this month: “The awesome reality of the presence of God”
 
Our Bible verse for today: “You cannot see my face, for humans cannot see me and live… Here is a place near me. You are to stand on the rock, and when my glory passes by, I will put you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will take my hand away, and you will see my back, but my face will not be seen.” Exodus 33:20-23 (CSB)
 
Our thought for today: “You couldn’t handle it”
 
So far in our study about the awesome reality of the presence of God we’ve considered the truth that God is omnipresent – He is present everywhere, all the time. As King David made clear in the Psalms, and as the Apostle Paul explained in Romans Chapter one, the indirect evidence for God can be clearly seen in the creation itself. Creation is too marvelous, too miraculous, too complex and intricate, to be the result of anything other than the work of a Creator.
 
Additionally, we’ve learned that the evidence for God comes to us in thousands of indirect ways including things like the words of Scripture, the flight of a butterfly, the beauty of a flower, the miracle a baby, a miraculous healing, and so much more. We just have to be paying attention and we have to acknowledge that what we’re seeing is evidence of God.
 
But we also have to wonder why God is so constrained when revealing His presence. Why not show Himself to us plainly and directly rather than by sideways glances and brief flickers that disappear with the blink of an eye? He answered that question for Moses in Exodus 33:20, “…for humans cannot see me and live.”
 
The truth is that God is so powerful, so awesome, and so majestic, that our five human senses couldn’t handle His presence. It would overwhelm us and probably kill us. A sideways glance is about all we can stand. And still, every encounter like that which we read about in the Bible left the individuals involved either scared out of their wits, trembling and weak in the knees, or in some cases they fell down on the ground as if they were dead. A mere whiff of God is enough to send us reeling.
 
So, that’s one reason God obscures His presence and shows Himself to us in safer and less dramatic ways – it’s because we couldn’t handle being exposed to His full, direct, unobscured presence.
 
There’s also another reason, which we will discuss tomorrow. After that we will spend the rest of the month considering the awesome truth that beyond just those dim flickers and sideways glances of His presence, God did two additional things designed to help us see Him and get to know Him – the incarnation and Pentecost. But first, there’s that other reason …
 
God bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2022 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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