In Biblical times, clay jars were used to store items of importance. In Jeremiah 32:14-15, the Lord tells Jeremiah to buy his cousin’s field and take the documents and place them in a clay jar. “For this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Houses, fields and vineyards will again be bought in this land.” This promise that they would return to their homeland would take 70 years of exile in Babylon before it would come about…but these important documents would be kept safe until then…safe within a fragile clay jar. And if you’re a Believer, you have the great power and Almighty energy of God within your clay jar…your body, placed there by God for safe-keeping.
Up on Mount Sinai, Moses had received the first set of tablets, engraved by God with the Ten Commandments. But when he came down from the mountain, he found the people engaged in an orgy. It says in Exodus 32:15-20 that, “his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces.” Moses allowed his anger to get the best of him…but even after messing up big time…God still used him. The Lord’s willingness to rewrite His Law on new stone tablets was a demonstration of His infinite mercy towards us…even when we mess up.
Jesus loves us with an unconditional love…it has no bounds…no restrictions. But can we love each other in the same way? Maybe it can be in what we don’t do that can show the love of Christ more effectively to those around us. Instead of yelling in anger and frustration at the kids…we don’t. Instead of becoming upset and disappointed with a co-worker…we don’t. Instead of allowing discouragement and despair to break apart our marriage…we don’t. For sometimes the greatest way to demonstrate God’s love to others… is in what we don’t do.
Some later manuscripts show this verse as saying, “Bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you.” Either translation is a tall order to fill. For we are a people who retaliate at the slightest notion that we’ve been wronged. Taking revenge and repaying evil with evil is touted and even celebrated in today’s social media. But this verse tells us to do the very opposite. And our example should be Jesus, who in I Peter 2:23 demonstrates, “When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate, when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly.” Taking the high road in the face of cruelty may be a clenched fist, gritted teeth type of grace under pressure, but allowing God to fight your battle is worth it in the end.
From the moment we draw our initial breath, to the last… our lives are but a brief time here on earth. Our bodies, just temporary vessels, that continue to fade and wither more with each passing year. Yes, our mortal life is like a fleeting shadow…passing and momentary. But our spirit within is enduring…everlasting and eternal.
Moses was not frightened by the extraordinary phenomenon he saw before him. Neither was he hesitant or doubtful in his mind that this was a supernatural happening. It says in the next verse, that God called to Moses from within that burning bush as he got near. The Lord gives us visions…such wonderful and great concepts that are almost too much for our feeble minds to take in. But if we approach that vision with boldness and not doubt or fear…God will speak into our hearts…and extraordinary things will happen.
The requirements of the Lord are many in this scripture. The prerequisites He has laid out are strict, fundamental, but necessary. If we want to see God moving in this world…we need to fulfill our part in this scripture first. For it says, “Then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” We do our part…then He’ll do His.