Rev. Jeff Schone作/ MLC出版 / Jack译
The Glory of the Lord Appeared in a Cloud
Then Moses told Aaron, “Say to the entire Israelite community, ‘Come before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.” While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the Lord appearing in the cloud. Exodus 16:9-10
One could argue that the most accomplished grumblers ever were the children of Israel. They won the gold medal in grumbling year after year! Seven times in Exodus 16 Moses mentions the people’s grumbling, noting that while they grumbled against him and Aaron, the finger of their grumbling was actually pointing at God himself.
Why all this grumbling? The answer is as sinful as it is shameful. They grumbled because they had no confidence in God’s care. They weren’t pleased by God’s promises. They found no satisfaction in God’s strength. And they put no hope in the advent of God’s Savior. They grumbled against God because they didn’t put their trust in him, and they grumbled against Moses and Aaron because they couldn’t find any love for God’s leaders in their self-pitying hearts. Their lack of faith resulted in a lack of love and—voilà—they grumbled!
But in the midst of their horrible grumbling, these selfish sinners saw the glory of God shining! Here is our lesson: The great glory of God is in the salvation of sinners through Christ. God’s bright and shining glory is in his gift of life to dead sinners for Christ’s sake. And the life God gives through Jesus is never absent of meaning and purpose and joy. I can put it to you this way: God did not simply create us to live or exist—no, God created us to live and love!
So while it’s true that we see God’s glory in the work he does for our lives, it’s equally true that we see God’s glory in the work he does in our lives. God takes people dead in sin and on their way to a bottomless grave in hell, and he makes them alive in Christ.
God takes people who grumble and complain—and who hate and envy and lust—and he makes them love in Christ. In this Advent season, we too look to the skies for Christ to come in his glory with his bright and shining gifts of life and love.
Forgive my grumbling and complaining, Lord Jesus, and satisfy me always with the glory of your grace and the promise of life lived in perfect love. Amen.