God’s Fearful Presence
Today’s reading: Numbers 16-17; Mark 6:33-56
50 for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” Mark 6:50
12 And the people of Israel said to Moses, “Behold, we perish, we are undone, we are all undone. 13 Everyone who comes near, who comes near to the tabernacle of the Lord, shall die. Are we all to perish?” Numbers 17:12-13
As we have seen, God who created all things also is in constant contact with His creation and with His creatures whether they are conscious of Him or not. In both biblical history as well as my personal experience, it is evident that we easily forget that God is there, all the time every day. We grow comfortable with attitudes of pride and acts of presumption as if there were no God to whom we must answer.
Korah and his party in the wilderness rebelled against God’s appointed leader, Moses. They had time to repent but no inclination to do so. They died a horrific death. Then God gave them another sign of His choice of Aaron to head the priesthood by making Aaron’s staff to bud as the staffs of the other tribes remained dead sticks.
The people of Israel finally recognized that they were “undone” that they were in danger of all perishing for their persistent rebellion. God revealed His presence and taught them to fear Him.
When the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water, they were terrified. The Lord immediately reassured them that it was Him. God again revealed His presence and taught the disciples to fear Him but also to trust Him.
The lesson of God’s fearful presence is one that the Israelites and the disciples would have to re-learn. I suspect that you and I will have to re-learn it too. Yet there is also comfort knowing that we who know Christ are His own adopted children and that He is merciful and gracious to us.
Be aware of God’s presence in your life today. Thank Him for His patience with us who must re-learn these lessons.