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God breaking in


In Jesus’ Bible, there is no event that has had such a lasting effect on all humanity as God’s speaking the ten commandments from the top of Mount Sinai.

Please grab your Bible and read the account of this event in Exodus 20:1-17. Tradition tells us that when God spoke these words, all creation fell silent and his voice was heard throughout the universe. Never in human history had God revealed himself in such a direct way.

We will now, just for a moment, put our toe in the vast sea of commentary. One tradition teaches that the voice of God had no echo and will never dissipate. An echo occurs when sound waves hit an object and bounce off because the object could not absorb the sound. The implication of God’s voice having no echo is the idea that his voice penetrated every created thing, animate and inanimate. Everything absorbed God’s voice and now was able to come to grips with the purpose of it’s creation. We each come to some understanding of our Creator because we still absorb God’s voice that continues even today.

In this short article, I’m simply not able to express the significance of this single event. However, let’s read on by looking at verses 18-21. Quite simply, the people were not ready for this revelation. They were not ready to have such a closeness to God — to personally hear his voice. They asked Moses to talk to God for them and they would listen to him. The rest of this story is found in Deuteronomy 18:15-19. God understood that the people were not ready for his full revelation and he promised a solution — a prophet like Moses.

In our reading of the ten commandments, God’s first revelation of himself to humanity came with great power. It was loud and in your face. The Creator showed his full glory to the creation. Humanity wasn’t ready! As great as this event was, the second time God decided to reveal himself came quietly. This time, he came in the form of a baby born in the land of Judea.

In Jesus, God showed himself to humanity in a way that we can hold tight. Jesus came as one of us, a human being, with all our frailties and strengths. The writer of the book of Hebrews tells us that Jesus was tempted in every way we are all tempted, so he understands our weaknesses when we give in to temptation and our strengths when we resist. By living among us as a man, he demonstrated to us how to relate to God and our fellow human beings.

When we read the Gospels, we are reading the account of the time when God walked among us as a fellow human. In Jesus, we can learn how God would have us conduct ourselves and in Jesus God learned (if I may be so bold as to say God didn’t know something) what our human struggles are like firsthand. Our God has tried so hard throughout the ages to simply show himself to us in a way we can understand.

In Jesus, we can grab hold of God and include him in every part of our everyday life.

Frank Fenton is a lifelong student of the Word of God. He attends the Church of the Messiah in Xenia where he shares teaching duties for the weekly Bible study class, as well as contributing to the congregational teaching.