Snapshots: Day 83
The Snapshot: “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones.” (Ex 34:1) What amazing grace. God meets with Moses and Israel at Sinai and gives them the Law, part of which were on two slate (probably) slabs. Israel blow it, Moses loses his cool and smashes the two tablets. End of the story of Moses and Israel. Well, no, not actually. Here’s the puzzle: why didn’t God slap Moses, why didn’t He abandon them, give up on them? I suppose it’s the same reason He doesn’t give up on us. He knows what we’re like, He knows we’re prone to getting it wrong, needing to be constantly encouraged, needing to be given a second chance – and third and fourth, and who knows how many chances. Amazingly love means He’s committed to helping us succeed. Yes, amazing!
Further Consideration: There is an infamous crusading atheist, who I shall not name, who became notorious by concocting a paragraph of total abuse describing God. The only problem was that it was complete rubbish based upon his ignorance of the Bible – and yet it was heralded and applauded by his devoted followers, which only goes to show there are a lot of people who are ignorant of what the Bible actually says.
I believe those of us who are believers may not be quite as bad, but often we skim over scriptures and fail to take in the wonder of what it is we are reading. I have sought in the snapshot above to counter that tendency by slowing us up and getting us to realize the grace of God that was being displayed when He instructed Moses to chisel out a second set of stone tablets on which He would rewrite the Ten Commandments.
I imagine a loving father with their young child and the child has just smashed up a model that the father had made for them. Resignedly, for he is a human father, he sighs and smiles and says, “OK, let’s have another go,” and commences to rebuild the broken model.
Again we take for granted, I believe, some of the New Testament teaching. For example, “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ.” (1 Jn 2:1) There is this same thing – the God of second chances. He doesn’t want us to sin, He doesn’t want us to have temper tantrums and smash that which is precious, but when we do He is there, saddened I believe by our immaturity, but ready to forgive when we come to our senses and ask forgiveness, ready to get us up on our feet again and, pointed in the right direction again, and is there helping us have fresh resolve to get it right this time.
Yes, this is the God of second chances, the God of grace and mercy who is there for us. Never say otherwise. Worship and be thankful.