by Rev Lai Kai Ming
Readings: Exodus 23:14-25:40; Proverbs 7:6-23
READ (verse/s chosen for meditation)
Then Moses went up, also Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity. But on the nobles of the children of Israel He did not lay His hand. So they saw God, and they ate and drank.
This passage intrigues me. Before the giving of the 10 commandments, God invited Moses and the elders of Israel for a fellowship meal. The writer stated it twice – “they saw God”. What did they actually see? We would never know. But the point was that they saw, and didn’t die. Why? Because they had consecrated themselves, and have entered God’s presence on a very special invitation.
Most Christians today cannot understand what it means to fear God. We walk in and out of His presence with little regard for what it cost to make worship possible. If God is really in our sanctuary, would we be playing with our phone? Would we scramble off the moment the “blessing” is pronounced? Or would we linger on, unwilling to leave the place where we had just “saw” Him? The next time we enter the church, may we be mindful of Who has invited us, and What we are there for.
Lord, teach me how to fear You once again!
by Rev Joel Yong
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judæa in the days of Herod the king, behold, Wise-men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we saw his star in the east, and are come to worship him. And when Herod the king heard it, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
Herod heard about a coming King of the Jews and he was troubled.
Because he wasn’t the true king. He was a puppet- king installed by the Romans.
He wanted the seat even though he knew it belonged to someone else.
Even if it were a prophesied king- he had no place for such a threat to his throne.
Herod sought then to kill all baby boys aged 2 years and below in Bethlehem so that he would prevent such a prophecy from happening.
I wonder – did he really believe in the prophesied king?
He must have – else he would not send soldiers to kill babies and eradicate the threat posed by an infant.
Yet he also must not have – else why would he think that God would not punish him for such a deed?
He acted in a godless manner.
Herod only had 1 god in his heart- himself.
That is why he would do anything to protect his own interest. Even if it meant killing a prophesied king in infancy.
Who occupies the throne of your heart?
That is a good question to reflect upon as the year unfolds.
Because only God deserves that place, as King of our hearts. All other pretenders will only unleash a nightmare of darkness for ourselves and those around us.