For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure, wherewith the LORD was wroth against you to destroy you. But the LORD hearkened unto me at that time also.
Do we have a reverential fear of God? Do we take him seriously as a God who must judge sin, as a God who hates sin so utterly that it must be destroyed? Do we fear the consequences of our disobedience of Him? What wretched creatures we can be. We have been delivered. We have received God’s commandments. We have been walking with Him in our midst. And we’ve been following the path He has laid out for us. But then we’ve complained and grumbled. We’ve doubted and feared. We’ve longed to go back where we came from. We’ve openly rebelled and defied God to His face.
But do we also recognize the safety that we now have in Christ? He intercedes on our behalf like Moses did for Israel. He stands between us and God and pleads for our pardon. He goes forth to stem the tide of God’s wrath toward us when we only deserve punishment and destruction. Only by Christ’s righteousness can we stand before the Father. Without Him, our wicked hearts would cause us to be consumed by the wrath of God. But the presence of Jesus Christ makes all the difference, because He is our mediator with God. And we can go to Him now time and time again for mercy when we have sinned.
We need to take things seriously in our lives. It’s not a game we’re playing to see what kinds of things we can get away with or how far we can push God. Sin is not something to take lightly. We have to recognize how seriously God takes sin, because He has to judge it. And if we are not safe in the shelter of Jesus and His completed work, then God will take out His wrath on us.
A holy God cannot tolerate sin, and as His holy people, we should not tolerate it in our lives. Let us gain the proper perspective on it and seek to live righteously before the Lord. And when we do mess up and we do sin, we can repent of that and find forgiveness through our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us not try to sweep things aside or make excuses for ourselves. Let us not make light of unrighteousness, but hate its presence in our lives. And let us seek ever more to live lives that honor God out of love and gratefulness for all He’s done for us.