Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of lapis lazuli, as bright blue as the sky. But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank (Exodus 24:9-11).
I was reading the book of Exodus earlier this week, and I came across the above passage of scripture. Something struck me as odd about this. This scripture reads as if these elders of Israel went up to to see God with an expectation that He was going to punish them. It reads as if they were completely surprised by the fact that God just wanted to spend time with them, and give them an opportunity to enjoy His presence. They had not yet experienced Him, so they didn’t completely understand who God was.
This got me thinking, and it led me to ask myself a question. How am I viewing God? Famous Christian pastor and author, A.W. Tozer, said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” If this is in fact a true statement from Tozer here, then isn’t the most important question to ask yourself, “How do you view God?”
I am going to use an example that most of us can relate to in order to illustrate Tozer’s point. In the movie Bruce Almighty, Jim Carrey plays a man named Bruce who is a bit frustrated with where he is in life. At one point in the movie Bruce tells his girlfriend that “God is a mean kid with a magnifying glass, and I’m the aunt. He could fix everything if He wanted to, but He would rather burn off my feelers and watch me squirm!” In the following scenes, every time something undesirable happens to Bruce, he gets frustrated and he blames God. As we can see in this example, the way Bruce viewed God directly affected his attitude and actions towards the common, every day struggles of life.
This may have been just a movie, but there is so much truth in it. This is precisely why if I don’t spend time with God in the morning, and get a few moments in His presence, I find myself getting much more easily frustrated throughout the day. This is why if I don’t spend time in God’s word learning about who He is and what His will is, then I am easily led astray by the world. On a much larger scale, there have been human beings throughout history whose view of God has led them to kill innocent people, and there have been human beings whose view of God has led them to sacrifice their lives for others.
This is the most important question that has ever faced the world as whole and each one of us as individuals. This question has defined history, and it will define the future. Therefore, is there anything more important than to seek out the answer to this question in your own life?
Today, all I am asking is that you stop and take some time to answer this question. Spend at least five minutes in silence, and seek to understand what is deep within your heart. Ask the question aloud to God, and give Him a chance to answer you. Then ask God to reveal to you which beliefs about Him are true and which are false, and ask Him to guide you to the truth.
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 parents to the third and fourth generation (Exodus 34:5-7).