Introduction…What does a good relationship truly cost? Are good relationships expensive? If so, why?
What about the costs associated with a royal wedding? Ever seen one? Why do nations and royals go to such lengths to get married? Do such weddings always work? Why or why not?
What about you? Do you have a costly, but deeply meaningful relationship? What did this relationship cost both parties? How has it been maintained over time?
As you study and observe this passage that for all intent purposes is a royal wedding of sorts, why do you think God goes to so much trouble, time and expense to not only bring his bride, Israel, to himself but to enter into a covenant with her? Why the big deal?
What about you and God? Has this been a costly relationship? If so, how so?
Introduction: As a kid, I was afraid to be alone at our church at night for fear God might talk to me. It was so bad, that if God had spoken to me, I would have no doubt, peed in my pants. I was that scared. I think I had seen a movie where God had spoken to the lead character and called him to a ministry, and I was afraid he might do the same to me. I also knew all the Bible stories of how God spoke to people. What if he chose to talk to me? I was in fear of God.
How often do you really think about being in the presence of the Almighty Creator of the Universe? Ever? Or because God is invisible, is it frequently more out-of-sight-out-of-mind with respect to the Almighty Creator?
If God exists… (Note: I feel as if I am blaspheming writing these words) how can we become so desensitized to his constant, ongoing presence?
But if we did believe that God does exist and that Christ has died to atone for our sins, and that we have the active presence of God, via his Holy Spirit within our lives, everyday 24-7, how can we act and live so contemptibly foolish with respect to presence of God?
What if we were there with Israel before the very mountain of God, witnessing his mighty thunder, lightning and smoke and hearing the trumpets blaring? Now, in-sight, and therefore, in-mind, would our perspective with respective to the active presence of God change? In what way? And why?
Introduction: Got a best friend? Perhaps, your mate? Got some good friends? So how do you maintain that or those friendships? What happens when you don’t maintain that or those friendships? I mean what happens over time? How do you most enjoy spending time with that friend or friends? Might any of the same things that make friendships, meaningful, satisfying and enduring apply to our relationship with God or the community of fellow believers in Christ?
General Introduction: Moses, led by God, is leading the children of Israel, perhaps as many as 2-3 million strong, away from Egypt and closer to the land promised to their forefathers seven centuries before. Their journey has not been without its problems. Having overcome food, water and leadership issues and a threatening military foe, God’s people have reached his mountain–the same place where Moses was called by God to lead Israel out of Egypt.
The Bride, Israel, having ritually purified herself and refrained from having sexual relations with each other, via her leadership, approaches her Groom’s mountain and prepares to take her vows—the covenant. Continue reading →
General Introduction: Moses, led by God, is leading the children of Israel, perhaps as many as 2-3 million strong, away from Egypt and closer to the land promised to their forefathers seven centuries before. Their journey has not been without its problems. Having overcome food and water issues, a threatening military foe and leadership issues, God’s people have now reached his mountain, the place where Moses was called by God to lead them out of Egypt in the first place.
The Bride, Israel, having ritually purified herself and refrained from having sexual relations with each other, via her leadership, approaches her Groom’s mountain and prepares to take her vows—the covenant.
Introduction…Been to a wedding lately? What was it like? Anything you really liked about it, or was it just a formal, seemingly uncomfortable religious ritual? I mean what is all that religious ritual all about in the first place? And why in a church so often? Why the dresses, suits, flowers, candles, decorations and formal music? Why does the bride wear an expensive white dress? Why do bridesmaids and a bride, often times escorted by her father, enter in to the sanctuary in such a formal manner?
Introduction…What does it take to get into or find the presence of God… His real, intimate presence? Is there a bit of holiness or Spiritual cleansing that needs to take place? And if so, what does that look like?
Within this account of Yahweh and his bride Israel’s wedding, there is a sense of sacred awe surrounding God’s holy mountain.
Does God’s Spirit still do this with us, either the very first time, by faith, when we enter into an eternal covenant with God or even on a daily, seasonal or moment by moment basis? Do we the church, the bride, still need our dirty feet washed to enjoy intimacy with our Groom?
If so, what could or does this look like right now? Today? What does it take for you to feel or enjoy the presence and power of God? Worship? Music? A song? Prayer? Confession? His word? The community of the faithful? Perhaps different things at different times? But what works most of the time? How does it feel? Do you like this feeling? Would you like it more often? How might you better prepare to be in the presence of your Divine Love?