Ancient Wisdom: March 2, 2014 (Year A)

Read:  Exodus 24:13-18

Meditation: “Preparation Before Revelation”

God met Moses on the mountain with a “firey revelation” (v 17) that resulted in the giving of the Ten Commandments.  But the lesson tells us that this happened on the seventh day after Moses made it to the top.  The first six days were cloudy and silent.

How many times do we have to read passages like this before we realize that preparation always precedes revelation?  In a world that idolizes “instant gratification” in our gadgets and gurus, appatently we have to be reminded of this again and again.

“I went to church, but I didn’t get anything out of it”…..”I read the Bible today, but it didn’t speak to me.”  Comments like this correctly describe the way it is some days in our spiritual formation.  But they also raise the question of how ready we were to receive anything in the first place.

Moses’ reception of the Ten Comnandments was one of God’s “big deals” of all time.  But it came on day seven, not day one.  I am guessing it happened that way, so Moses had time for all the other “voices” to subside.  That way he could hear The Voice when it spoke.

And so it is since then, the saints of the ages have told us in a million different ways that solitude and silence come before instruction, inspiration, and insight.  This is why some of them waited and listened for days (or longer) before they heard anything.

The six days leading up to the seventh for Moses should be a reminder to us that “drive-through spirituality” is really no spirituality at all.  There is no fast lane where we can “have, it your way,” or have it served up quick, so we can get back on the road to living life speedily and superficially.

About jstevenharper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 31 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church
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