Have you ever had a hard time seeing where you were going and things ended badly as a result? The town I went to college in was notoriously windy. One day I was driving by a giant dirt field and the wind was so strong that it caused the dirt and sand from that field to almost completely block my view of the road in front of me. I could see maybe 10-15 feet in front of me. It felt a bit like I was driving through a scene from the Mummy or something. But having been from Phoenix, Arizona I was used to this and wasn’t worried. Sand storms weren’t uncommon. So I slowed down to about 15-20 miles an hour. I knew that up ahead there was a housing development that would block the sand and dirt from the road, so I wasn’t at all worried.
I had a buddy in the car with me and he was a bit worried and asked if we should stop and wait for the wind to die down. And I told him “You don’t want to stop in a sand storm like this because someone else driving down the road won’t see you and could rear-end you.” No joke as soon as those words came out of my mouth I rear-ended someone and wrecked my parents car. My friend looks over at me and goes “You mean like that?” Some other college students stopped and parked in the middle of the road and I saw them just as I was rear-ending them. When we can’t see clearly, bad things happen.
The same is true in our spiritual lives. When we don’t have a clear and correct view of God we cannot live the way that God designed us to live. Check out Exodus 19.
Exodus 19:16-20a On the third day, when morning came, there was thunder and lightning, a thick cloud on the mountain, and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people in the camp shuddered. Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was completely enveloped in smoke because the Lord came down on it in fire. Its smoke went up like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain shook violently. As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him in the thunder. The Lord came down on Mount Sinai at the top of the mountain.
What a sight. God touches down on earth and the ground begins to shake. But not just the ground, the entire mountain begins to shakes – violently. God is accompanied by the sound of a trumpet getting louder and louder. God is showing up in power and glory. This is the God who decimated Egypt. This is the God who parted the Red Sea. When he moves mountains tremble. When he speaks heaven thunders. But he also reaches down from on high and takes hold of us. I know our world is crazy and we feel like we have been shaken, but friends, God is never shaken. In Exodus 19 we get a front-row seat to this magnificent display of God’s glory, his power, his might, and holiness. Let’s check out what the book of Hebrews says.
Hebrews 12:26-29 His voice shook the earth at that time, but now he has promised, Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens. This expression, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of what can be shaken — that is, created things — so that what is not shaken might remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful. By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.
Sometimes God shakes things up so that we can focus on what is eternal, but God is never shaken. His kingdom lasts forever. And because his kingdom lasts forever we can live and serve him with confidence. But that means we need to get a clear view of God.
The book of Isaiah gives us a great picture to help us try to understand the vastness of God’s power. In Isaiah 40:12 we are told that God can measure the waters in the hollow of his hand. Now it is estimated that there are about 332.5 million cubic MILES of water on earth. I asked Siri how many gallons that was and Siri said it’s 3.66 times 10 to the 20th power. This means nothing to me so I simply googled how many gallons of water is on the planet and it is over 326 million trillion.
If you were to pour all of the world’s water into the United States, you would create a lake that would be so deep it would extend about 40 miles into outer space. That is a lot of water. But God can not only hold, he can measure the amount of water on our planet in the palm of his hand. And the Bible tells us in Psalm 18:16 that he reaches down from on high and takes hold of YOU. I think we can say, God has got you.
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