loren Eric Swanson: A Little Quiet Time Gem from Moses

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A Little Quiet Time Gem from Moses

In Exodus 33:12-34:32 we see a good illustration of Moses' interaction with the Lord, and what he did to meet with and hear from God.

Motivations for meeting with God
· An unmet need. "You have been telling me, 'Lead these people' but you have not let me know whom you will send with me" (33:12).
· A desire to know God's will. "If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways..." (33:13)
· A desire to know God. "...so I may know you..." (33:13,15,18)

Preparation for meeting with God
· "Chisel out two stone tablets...and I will write on them" (34:1). We come to God with an expectancy to hear from him and a notebook, journal, etc. When we come to a quiet time with a pen, we are expecting to hear from God himself. We are not meeting with a book or a habit. We are meeting with the living God.

· "Be ready in the morning" (34:2). It's interesting that whether one is a "morning person" or "night person," the most effective time for people to have a quiet time is before the busyness of the day begins. Mark 1:35 portrays Jesus rising "very early in the morning, while it was still dark...." In Psalm 5:3 David wrote, "In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation." In Psalm 119:147 "I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word." It's not that we can't meet with God just as well at another time of the day, but each of our personal histories attests to the fact that we usually don't.

· "...come up on Mount Sinai. Present yourself to me..." (34:2). Until the tabernacle was built, Mount Sinai was the dwelling place of God. Do you have a special place to meet with the Lord? Your "Mount Sinai" may be your study, your living room or McDonald's.

· "No one is to come with you" (34:3). A quiet time is not a group function. It is a time to be alone with the Lord.

Meeting with God
Then look what happened. God actually came down and met with Moses and told him what he was like--merciful, compassionate, forgiving, loving--and in response Moses bowed to the ground and worships. Moses confessed his sin and asked God to take Israel as his inheritance (34:5-9). God also gave to Moses his words. He personally instructed Moses. Sounds like a great quiet time, doesn't it?

Results of meeting with God
Let's look at the postscript in 34:29-32. As a result of meeting with the Lord Moses was both radiant--he experienced an inward change and he was resourceful--"He gave to them all (the Israelites)...(that) the Lord had given him on Mount Sinai” (34:32). Many believers want to be spiritually resourceful but have not met with God and so they have nothing to give away. If we want to be resourceful it is imperative to get resources.


At Wednesday, January 25, 2006 3:20:00 PM, Anonymous Russ Minary said...

A very important practical lesson on spiritual discipline from Jesus and Moses.

Too often, I hear Christians say they have "no time" for spiritual devotions like prayer/quiet times, and Bible study. The reality is that we all have only 24 hrs. in a day, and in that time we do what is truly important to us.

Your observation about doing one's disciplines in the morning is very important. Think for a moment: if you had a boss that always had your good in mind, and would give you important, fulfilling and significant work to do, wouldn't you want to ask them what to do in the morning, rather than telling them what you had accomplished at the end of the day? It seems that your list of accomplishments might vary from what your boss had intended for you, had you asked him first thing in the morning. If I work for God, I should check in with Him before I start the day.

Last, aren't we supposed to give God the "first" fruits? That should include our time. The return on this investment is immeasurable.


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