Forty years later an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning bush.Acts 7:30
I must confess that when I read the words, “Come no closer!”—my spirit quivers. While I believe with all that is in me that we “we may approach God with freedom and confidence” I find no solace apart from grace (Eph. 3:12). While I understand that, through the sacrifice of Christ, we can “approach the throne of grace with confidence” (Heb. 4:16) I tremble at the thought. Because, while there is now the freedom to approach God, I dare not forget—He is a Holy God.
For forty years, forty long hard years, Moses toiled at the task of shepherd until what ambition he had brought with him from Egypt, wilted in the dry desert heat. There God met him.
God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”
He comes to us when we are at the end of our selves, when we are willing to take off our sandals and walk by faith. He will bring us to that point of need, that point of emptiness, not to harm us, but to prosper us, to give us hope and a future (Jer. 29:11).
It is the idea of “due time” that weighs most on our hearts. It seems that due time does not follow our time. Yet, if we are willing to confess that He is a Holy God, then we have no cause to despair. If we are willing to speak the marvelous, glorious and awesome name of the one true God, if we are willing to confess that His deeds are glorious and majestic and that his righteousness endures forever, then we can wait for due time(Psa. 111:3).
If our souls are willing to ponder the “glorious splendor” of his majesty and if our tongues proclaim the glorious splendor of His kingdom then the wait may seem as only a moment (Psa. 145:5, 12). “He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted” and “He makes everything beautiful in its time” (Job 5:9, Eccl. 3:11).
In our more honest moments we might confess the ugliness of our hearts and wait patiently for his mercy—in due time. In our loneliness we admit our deep longing to God and await His provision—in due time. “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out” (Rom. 11:33)! He has said draw no closer and yet He has drawn closer to us—in Christ—when the time had fully come (Gal. 4:4). How trivial forty years now seems.