4th December – Deuteronomy 18:15-19
At Mount Horeb the Israelites begged that Moses would mediate God’s voice to them. They were terrified of the awesome power and holiness of direct exposure to God. What a vision it must have been to inspire such a reaction!
The appropriate theological term is ‘accommodation’. God accommodated the needs of humanity by speaking to them through Moses and the prophets rather than terrifying them with direct contact. God would stoop low in order to be heard and understood by his creation. His intention was not to frighten his people into submission, but to communicate and have intimate relationship – ‘These are my people and I am their God’.
In the person of Jesus we see the ultimate example of divine accommodation. Jesus himself claimed that he spoke the words given to him by his Father and therefore functioned as described in this passage. But Jesus was more of an accommodation than just a human conduit for speech. He actually was human. God accommodated the needs of his creation to the extent that he became one of us. He didn’t so much stoop low to talk on our level, as enter into our existence fully, wholeheartedly. He got covered in the same dust we do. He slept out under our stars. He ate our food, used our latrines, shook our hands, shouted our names. He joined us in the mud of life and was eventually buried in death. The ultimate accommodation to our level. The ultimate humility. His life is the ultimate message from God in terms which are both obvious and mysterious.
Through Jesus we can know, not just what God says, but actually know God. In Jesus we have, not simply a prophet mediating God’s voice, but God actually in humanity. How can we fail to listen to his words and how can we fail to follow him?
Thank you, our Awesome God, that you emptied yourself by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, thank you that you humbled yourself by becoming obedient to death. Help us to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father in all we say and do.