Scripture: Exodus 19:16-19
There is a commercial running right now for State Farm in which a married couple is shown facing two entirely different circumstances, yet uttering the same phrases. In the first, they are watching peacefully as a herd of wild mustangs grazes gently nearby. In the other, the same wild mustangs stampede past them, destroying their property. Phrases like “I can’t believe we live in the middle of all this” take on an entirely new meaning based on the circumstance.
We view the commands of God the same way.
We have the same Ten Commandments the Israelites received, but God showed up in fire, smoke, and the sound of the trumpet. For many of us, the commands of God merely show up in a book or sermon. Those of us who are preachers are acutely aware of how our delivery of the Word pales in comparison.
And yet, it is the same Word, and unlike the State Farm commercials, it carries as much power in written and spoken form as it did in fire, clouds, and trumpets.
How can this be? Because while the medium may be different, the message is the same. Not only that, it is a message that carried not by words on a page or from the mouth of a preacher, but the same Spirit the rained down the fire, stirred up the smoke, and blew the trumpets. It is carried by the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead and now lives inside of every baptized believer.
We may think that obvious signs from God would make it easier to believe, but faith is not belief in the face of obvious signs. It is the clinging to a promise given by God who sends God’s Spirit to create the faith that makes said clinging possible. The same commands given to the Israelites have been given to you, and the same Messiah promised to them has claimed you as God’s very own.
The Word of God is the same, no matter the form in which it comes.