The earth shaking God of the Old Testament is still the same but His covenant with us has changed. His lap is no longer off limits to His children.
When I was reading our selection today I had to go back and read about when God shook the mountain. This was back when He spoke the 10 commandments to the people. I cannot imagine the abject awe that happened that day! Not even an animal was allowed to touch the mountain of God. The presence of God could be seen and felt by ALL who were present. I wonder how people of today would react to this kind of power demonstration. Would they all cower, as the Israelites had done or would they start looking for “the man behind the curtain”?
Our world is so jaded and ready to believe anything and yet nothing at all. They will swallow the dumbest idea and yet reject God’s words. “But science says…” “____ says…” What happened to “the Bible says…”?
God got the attention of EVERY Israelite in the camp when He showed up. He gave them something that NONE of the Egyptian gods could; a physical manifestation of His presence. But their awe didn’t last. By the time the smoke cleared they were back to complaining, including complaining that Moses’ face was too bright from being in God’s presence. The problem was that this encounter didn’t change their hearts, only their surface behaviors. They got a list of “do’s” and “don’ts” to live by and an impersonal relationship.
When Jesus ushered in the New Covenant for us God gave us something better. He gave us unfettered access to Him and a new heart. No longer was the covenant a list of do’s and don’ts but a personal relationship with God. His word was written on our hearts instead of on tablets of stone.
Our author reminds us of God’s words to Haggai that He will shake the earth one more time; “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens” (verse 26). This time is still coming and when it does, the only thing left standing will be what has been built on HIS unshakable foundation. I believe He is speaking of the final judgement but I could be wrong.
I don’t think He is referencing the earthquake that happened at the moment of Jesus’ death as there are a LOT of things still standing that aren’t built on His foundation. All the shaking that has gone on since that one terrifying day in the wilderness are just warm ups for the main event. When God does His final shaking nothing will remain but what HE established.
Until that day comes, keep building on the foundation of your personal relationship with Him. That is the unshakable truth of His love for each of us. The love that prompted Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. The promise sealed in His blood. His blood that cleanses, not covers, our sin ensuring our future with Him. Our “paid in full” ticket into eternal life with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Father God, thank You for Your promises. Thank You for making a way to keep man close until it was time to bring Your ultimate promise to fulfillment; Jesus’ redemptive work. Thank You for a new covenant. I would NOT have survived under the old one. Thank You that Your words are in my heart and my mind all the time. Please forgive me for not listening to them as often as I should. Thank You for continuing to speak to me even when my mind is a muddled mess!
Help me to only build on Your foundation; Jesus. Make the words of my “hands” and the meditation of my heart be wholly acceptable and glorify You at all times. Forgive me for the times I want to “take a break” and not write. I know I ALWAYS feel better after we meet, no matter how tough the lessons I learn. Please help me to make sense right now with what pours out of my heart. Unscramble it all inside of me too please! Clear my mind of this fog and fatigue. Thank You for meeting with me even in the middle of it too.