Happy Independence Day!
Fireworks boomed all around me. But I couldn’t see a thing.
My bones shook from the reverberations. But a thick forest of trees blocked my view of the brightly colored lights that filled the sky. Somewhere.
I’d been relaxing in the living room of our mountain retreat when the piercing sound descended into the living room and announced that the neighbors were getting an early start to their 4th of July celebration.
Hearing the fireworks but not seeing them through the shroud of trees reminded me of a different type of Independence Day celebration.
A Different Type of Independence Day Celebration
Eons ago, the people of Israel had just received their independence from Egypt (but for completely different reasons than America had declared theirs from England).
And now they stood at the foot of Mt. Sinai and listened as the God of the universe spoke to them from a thick cloud and fire.
His majestic glory could fill the universe, but God kept it hidden behind the cloud.
They couldn’t see Him, but there was no mistaking that voice.
They trembled in fear. Stark, paralyzing fear.
Anticipation ~ Not Fear
Unlike the Israelites, when I heard the fireworks, I didn’t tremble. Fear didn’t paralyze me. I bolted outside to watch the show.
I scrambled around every side of the house, straining for a glimpse of red, white, and blue lights exploding in the sky. But all I saw was green.
Green leaves. Green pine needles. Green everywhere. But no fireworks.
I didn’t need to see proof of the fireworks, though. I trusted what I heard because I know fireworks.
Instead of fearing the sound, I anticipated the sparkling light show somewhere around me and smiled.
But what if I’d never heard fireworks before. I probably would’ve dove for cover.
Surely many of the Israelites dropped to the ground when they heard God’s voice. After all, He’d never spoken to them before. He’d had many conversations with Moses, but never with them.
As God spoke, many of the more brave Israelites probably peered through the fire and cloud, straining for a glimpse of God. But only the sound of His voice broke through – His terrifying, thunderous voice.
They responded with fear and worship — and no doubt knees that turned to jelly.
But in time, their awe dimmed, and they turned their backs on Him. They went their own way.
His voice had once grabbed their attention and aroused fear. But the memory faded. And they convinced themselves that other things mattered more.
Even though they’d heard His voice speak to them personally – and may have believed they’d trust Him forever – there was still too much about God they couldn’t see or understand.
Even though nature displayed traces of His glory all around them, there was still too much about God they couldn’t grasp.
Even though they’d seen, heard, and learned the truth about God, what they wanted now for themselves thundered more loudly in their hearts and weakened their faith.
But the day is coming.
Jesus is Coming Again
And when that day comes, every eye will see. Every knee will bow. And every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
The intangible shroud that has hidden God’s glory from our eyes will be removed. And we will all see and know.
Jesus has come again.
What Will You Do?
Will you see Him on that day and worship?
Or will you see His glory and tremble in paralyzing fear?
Those who know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior will worship and rejoice. They will celebrate their eternal independence from sin, death, and fear.
It will be the Independence Day celebration to eclipse all others.
I eagerly wait for that day. For Him. Do you?
so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
~ Hebrews 9:28 ESV
[bctt tweet=”When Christ returns it will be an Independence Day Celebration to eclipse all others. #Jesus #GodsGlory #Icantwait” username=”inspireafire”]