It could have been one of those apocalyptic movie scenes. You know where Bruce Willis or Stallone or Van Diesel comes walking out of the smoke and aftermath with his gun slung over his shoulder, his clothes shredded and blood running down his arm. Or maybe it was mad max. I never saw the movies, but I saw enough clips to envision such a scene. There was fire, smoke and lightning and people in fear of their lives. But … but … it was none of these. Yeah, it was none of these.
In exodus Chapter 19 verse 16 the Bible says Then it came to pass on the third day, that there was thundering and lightning, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. The mountain was completely in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice.
What a scene it must have been! This was the real thing. It wasn’t Willis, Stallone or Van Diesel or even Mad Max in some crazy Hollywood movie. NO! It was God Himself who descended upon the mountain in fire just before Moses got the Ten Commandments. The Bible says the people feared for their lives after they saw God descend down the mountain in fire and they asked Moses to speak to them instead of having God speak to them.
Now we skip ahead in the story to Deuteronomy Chapter 18 verse 15 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, according to all you desired of the Lord your God in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’ This is referring to the scene we just talked about back in Exodus.
Then verse 18 says, I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.” Bible scholars say this is a prophecy about Jesus Christ. Moses prophesied about the coming Christ, and the Jews were anticipating this prophet. So we skip ahead in the story again.
In John chapter five, Jesus has just healed the paralyzed man at the pool of Bethsaida. Jesus told the man to rise, pick up his bed and walk. So he did! A man paralyzed for 38 years was just healed; this is time for joyful celebration and praising God. But the Bible says,” For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath.
So Jesus engages the angry Jews and gives them a lengthy teaching, and at the end of John chapter five Jesus asks the Jews, “Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. Then Jesus says, for if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. Remember the prophecy? Then Jesus says, but if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”
So I wonder if the prophecy was hitting home in the hearts and lives of those Jews gathered around that day? I wonder if the scene of the fire and the smoke, the lightning and thunder and God descending down upon the mountain flashed through their heads. The Jews said they believed the writings of Moses, the Torah, The Law. But Jesus said, if you do not believe Moses how can you believe me. I thought the Jews believed Moses, but Jesus said they did not.
Once again, we skip ahead in the story. The Apostle Paul is writing to the Corinthians, and in II Corinthians 13 he writes, “Examine yourself as to whether you, yeah you, you sitting there listening to this, are you in the faith. Prove yourselves. Do you not know that Jesus Christ is within you?
So did you take the test? Did you examine yourself? Did you prove yourself? The three questions are not a conclusive list, but they a good place to start. Don’t be like the Jews, saying you believe but not believing, rather examine yourself, and prove yourself that you are indeed in the faith.
Question number one! Does the Holy Spirit confirm with your spirit that you are a child of God? Once again, does the Holy Spirit confirm with your spirit that you are a child of God?
Question number two! Do you feel a sense of conviction in your life when you mess up and sin? Do you feel a sense of conviction in your life when you mess up and sin?
Question number three! Do you walk in love and forgiveness towards those around you and those who have done you wrong? Again, do you walk in love and forgiveness towards those around you and those who have done you wrong?