I'll have my people talk to your people
Whenever I read in Hebrews that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, it inevitably comes to mind that old argument I have heard before which says: That the God of the Old Testament is far from us, authoritative and “mean” while the God seen in the New Testament is all-loving and merciful and near us. Is this assumption true? Not at all.
The more we explore the book of Genesis, the easier it becomes to see that the loving and merciful God that longs for close communication with all humanity has been there all along. We tend to believe that Adam was the last person to have direct communion with God and after the fall, God disconnected the line until Jesus came, but we see God after the fall approaching Cain even in the midst of his rebellion.
As a kid, hearing Bible stories on Sunday school, I always assumed that when Noah came out of the ark, God made a covenant only with him, but we can read in Genesis 9:1 “Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them…” also on verse 8 “Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him…” God’s intention was to continue in direct contact with everyone after the flood and one way or another, that connection got lost once again.
When God brought the people of Israel out of Egypt, He wanted a nation of priests where everyone could approach His presence and speak to Him directly. Instead, in Exodus 20 when the people of Israel heard God’s voice for themselves, they trembled in fear and said to Moses “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”
A relationship with God is unlike any other relationship. There is something so majestic and glorious about Him that people tremble in fear. Maybe it is the awareness of being in the presence of the one who sees it all, and knows every intention of our hearts. The temptation of establishing separation between God and us is constant.
Throughout the Bible we see this pattern that can be reflected in us today. It is a tendency to compartmentalize our relationship with God into small bite sizes we can handle, keeping the relationship formal, non-intrusive or confined to the church building or the Sunday Service time. Maybe we are limiting the relationship by seeking for others to represent us before God, maybe a pastor, an elder, a group leader, a parent or just that other Christian that’s been at it for longer than me.
God has not changed. His invitation for you is personal and intimate. Yes, he indeed calls us to relationship and communion with one another where He brings His blessing as we dwell in unity with believers. Even so, let us remember that He calls you and me to pursue Him for ourselves. Hebrews 4:16 invites us: “Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace for help at the time of our need.”
You do not need a representative to go to God on your behalf. Jesus has already opened the way through His sacrifice so that you may enter God’s presence not with shame, guilt, or duty but with confidence in the relationship God desires for you to have with Himself. He longs to directly commune with you and give you grace, mercy, and every spiritual blessing. Let us talk with Him.