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Good Morning.

“So the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was.” (Exodus 20:21)

It seems simple enough: while the people chose to keep their distance, Moses chose to draw near unto God. However, there might be more to this than what meets the eye. Specifically, the Hebrew term that describes the people as standing “afar off” may also hint at more than just the physical distance between them and God. It might also allude to the condition of their heart and the relational distance from the Creator at that time. 

From the beginning of time, it is clear that the Creator wishes to dwell among his people. When man was still in the garden, He desired to walk and commune with man in the cool of the day. The primary reason given to Israel for the construction of the tabernacle was that God might dwell among them. And so again, it is abundantly clear that God has always desired to draw near unto us. What has not always been clear is just how interested we are in drawing near to Him. In some ways, this dichotomy sums up the narrative that we see in the Scripture. In other words, all of God’s interaction with mankind boils down to His desire to draw near to us that we would respond in like manner.  Of course, there is the fact that He is holy and we are not and so He outlines the proper protocol whereby we might approach Him.

The Hebrew word, karav, means “to draw near or approach.” It is this root word that gives us the term, korban, which is an “offering” or “sacrifice.” This word is the Hebrew equivalent of what Paul exhorts us to be when he said, “Present your bodies a living sacrifice (korban), holy, acceptable to God” (Romans 12:1). As believers, we are given access to our Father, through Messiah, and are encouraged to draw near unto Him. 

In so doing, we must acknowledge that He is a consuming fire and it is expected that we are willing to surrender ourselves in such a way that we are regarded as a living korban. In other words, our desire to draw near to Him pushes us to die to ourselves that we may be all that He desires of us. So let us not be as those who chose to stand afar off. Let us be like Moses, who chose to draw near the thick darkness where God was. That is, no doubt, what the Creator desires.

Blessings and Shalom,  






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