18 December 2008

O Adonai

O Adonai and ruler of the house of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the burning bush and gave him the Law on / Sinai:*
Come with an outstretched arm and re- / deem us.

"God said to Moses, 'I am who I am.' And he said, 'Say this to the people of Israel, "I am has sent me to you."' God also said to Moses, 'Say this to the people of Israel, "The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you." This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.'" (Exodus 3:14-15)

"The Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up." (Exodus 19:20)

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works." (Titus 2:11-14)

As God redeemed Israel from Egyptian slavery, He also redeems us from our slavery of sin and our "Egypt" of death. Following His mighty redemption God then gave His commandments, His covenant, to His people on Mt. Sinai. Essentially, God was saying, "I've redeemed you; now here's how redeemed people - My people - live. How does God want us to live as His people? Certainly not in any old way we choose, for that would mean living in our self-centered ways, and certainly not in the ways of the shallow, stuff-focused, pleasure-centered ways of the world around us. Instead, we take a good look at the Ten Commandments. These commandments give us plenty to do as God’s people. Yes, they also show us plenty of sin and failure in ourselves as well as in other people around us, but they are truly God's design for life. When we live by His commandments, in love toward God and neighbor, we are living according to His blue prints, so to speak. No, we cannot rely on the commandments to rescue us from sin and death. Only Jesus can to that, and He is our Adonai, our Kyrios, our Mighty Lord. We pray for Jesus to save us with His might—the might that held Him to the cross. We pray for Him who stretched out His arms in weakness upon the cross to come and buy us back to life with God. After all, it's in His outstretched arms on the cross, weak to the naked eye, that He shows the utter might and victory of His love and salvation for us.

Oh, come, oh, come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times didst give the law,
In cloud and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel! (LSB 357:3)

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