March 05, 2012

Come Closer

Exodus 3:1-10

You have come to God … to Jesus …
—Hebrews 12:23-24


As Moses approached the burning bush, God warned, “Do not come any closer.”

God restrained Moses with good reason. God knew that an unholy man approaching him would face death. So his words that seem to reject are actually words of love, not unlike a parent’s warning to a child to be careful near a fire.

While the words speak compassion, they also remind us of the contrast between God’s law and God’s grace.

Law says, “Do not come any closer. You are not worthy.”

But grace declares, “I have made you worthy, through Jesus.”

God’s grace calls us to come. Four times in one verse in Isaiah, the Lord urges, “Come” (Isaiah 55:1). Jesus calls, “Come to me” (Matthew 11:28). The writer to the Hebrews rejoices, “You have come to God.” James summons, “Come near to God” (James 4:8). The Bible’s final chapter adds three more invitations: “Come” (Revelation 22:17).

Let us praise God for his law that somberly warns, and for his grace that softly welcomes.

Come, for all is well. Jesus has come to earth so that we might come to God.

Lent is a good time to come closer to God.

Jesus, in this Lenten season we praise you that all is well between you and us. We hear your invitation, and we come to you. In your name we hope. Amen.

About the author — Dale Vander Veen

Dale Vander Veen is a retired Christian Reformed pastor who with his wife, Edith, has ministered in California, Washington, and Michigan. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He currently writes a daily e-mail series of devotions.

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