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2 girl friends February 13 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today's Bible reading: Exodus 33:18- 36:7

A Restored Relationship

Our last Bible study topic was about restoring broken trust. What joy there is in a restored relationship! If there have been efforts to bring two parties together, and the breach is healed, the one who interceded rejoices and is brought into a closer relationship with the one who was gracious to forgive. The ones who are forgiven also rejoice. Now what they have done is no longer held against them. They have a renewed relationship and joy in the presence of the one who forgave them. Because of this, they are most willing to please him. That is what happened in today’s Bible study.

Moses was the one who interceded for the Israelites before God. After a time of anger, judgment, and even unwillingness to go with, or even associate with the Israelites, God relented. God relented because it is in his nature to be a forgiving God. Moses rejoiced in God’s forgiveness and asked to see his glory. As a close friend of God, he wanted to see and understand more of him. God’s glory is normally veiled; to see His face would kill a man. God did not refuse Moses’ request, however, but told him He would pass before him. He would then take away his hand so that Moses could see His back side while His glorious name was proclaimed. Moses was drawn into a more intimate relationship with God as God partially revealed himself to him. What a glorious site that must have been!

Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:5-8, NIV)

Those who say the God of the Old Testament is primarily a God of wrath should read these verses and realize that he is first compassionate, gracious and slow to anger. The God of the Old Testament is not different than Jesus of the New Testament. Jesus is of the same nature as his heavenly father.

How is intimacy with God attained? Of course we know that physical intimacy in a marriage is the discreet disclosure of both body and soul to and for each other. In a similar manner, spiritual intimacy with God is attained by unclothing our pride and other sins, revealing the nakedness of our heart, repenting, and drawing near to God in full submission. The Scriptures say in the book of James,

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (James 4:7-10, NIV)

The Israelites had done that and now they were forgiven. Do any of us still need to humble ourselves and repent before God? God can give us forgiveness, peace and joy (more...). We can experience spiritual intimacy with Him.

When Moses came back down the mountain, his face was radiant because he was in the presence of God. The people saw it and were afraid; so when Moses was with them he veiled his face, but when he was in the presence of God, he took off the veil. He wanted nothing between him and God. He was God’s friend. What about us? Are we going into God’s presence with a veil or not?

How do we maintain a relationship after we have been restored? First, we have to plan ahead and put up safeguards. God told Moses that he was making or renewing a covenant with the Israelites, and he would go before them into battle against many nations, but they were not to make a treaty with them or worship their gods. Instead, they were to completely destroy all foreign gods when they occupied the land. Who do you make alliances with - those who love God or those who love other things?

Second, we should do things to remember and maintain our relationship. For the Israelites, they maintained their relationship with the LORD by following his Law and celebrating their feasts. Today, believers in Christ maintain their relationship with God by regularly reading and obeying his Word, fellowshipping with other believers, and observing Communion together.

Third, our relationship can be maintained by giving God the first of everything. Those who are married might well remember how their fiancée always put them ahead of everyone else, trying to please them. We must do the same with God, giving the best of ourselves and our substance to God.

Fourth, a relationship with God can be maintained by joyfully serving with him, doing His will from the heart. The Israelites were given instructions on what they were to gather together for the construction of the tabernacle (a portable worship center). They joyfully scurried back to their tents to gather the materials. In fact, they gave so much that the general contractors and artisans had to withhold any more offerings. A restored relationship brings us much joy and generosity!

Lessons to live by:

  • God is a forgiving God and longs to have a personal relationship with us.
  • Spiritual intimacy with God is attained by unclothing our pride and other sins, revealing the nakedness of our heart, repenting, and drawing near to God in full submission and prayer. (more...)
  • How do we maintain a relationship with God after we have been restored?
    • Plan ahead and put up safeguards.
    • Do things to remember and maintain your relationship with him.
    • Give God the first of everything.
    • Worship the LORD and joyfully serve him, doing his will from the heart.

Today’s Bible memory verse:

James 4:8a “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” (NIV)

praying girl Write a private prayer response to today’s Bible study:

Please send your comments to mtbiblestudies@gmail.com

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