The Ways or the Acts

There is an interesting verse in Psalms 103:7 which says that God “made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.” (Emphasis added)   In this scripture two groups of people are compared.  There is Moses who constantly went up the mountain to meet with God and then there were the children of Israel who observed from a distance.  The children of Israel constantly saw and experienced the miracles and provision of God.  Moses also experienced the same miracles and provision of God, but being close to God, Moses was also informed of the “ways of God”.  The ways of God would imply his laws; his methods of administration; and the principles on which he governs mankind.  In Psalms 25:4 David prays, “Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths.”  Perhaps in both of these Psalms David is referring to Exodus 33:12 where Moses declares the same thought saying “show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight.”  There was an understanding that knowing the ways of God enabled a better knowledge of God and a better relationship with God.

The Psalmist then lists some of the character traits of God.  The Lord is described as “merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.  He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever.  He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.  For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him (Ps 103:8-11).

In John chapter 6 Jesus has thousands of people following after Him, they had just experienced a miracle and were eager to receive another miracle.  Yet when Jesus challenges the people to be committed to Him, the commitment level becomes too great and the multitudes leave.  Only the disciples were left, declaring, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)  Only 12 disciples out the thousands knew that life consisted in more than just looking for daily provision, miracles or seeing the acts of God.  They knew that true life came from experiencing the words of life, knowing and understanding the ways of God working in our lives.

In your life it is possible to superficially know the blessings, the power and the miracles of God – this would be the acts of God.  However in greater intimacy with God, there would be the opportunity to see the acts of God but also to know the ways of God.  The Apostle Paul says in 2 Cor. 3:8 that the present ministry of the Holy Spirit is more glorious than when Moses met with God.  Take some time to reflect upon what is more important to you, seeing the acts of God or drawing near to Jesus, the Living Word of God, and therefore to know and experience the ways of God.  Then take time to draw near to Jesus.

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