Appreciating the Vertical Relationship

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“…Because you did not treat me as holy in the midst of the people of Israel.” (Deuteronomy 32:51)

One-third of Moses’ life was in service to the Lord. He was called the “servant of the Lord” a title of privilege and honor. Yet, here, his personal epitaph before the Lord is recorded for us and it is a sad commentary. We know the story – the constant complaining of people caused Moses to act out of emotional frustration contrary to what God prescribed. Just this one act made the difference and the Lord did not give Moses a pass. Moses could not enter the Promised Land.

A great many of our feelings seem to come about from our horizontal relationships. At first glance we may conclude they have little to do with our vertical relationship with God, but this not true. When we react inappropriately in our desperation with someone, we are acting what we believe should be. Are we not acting for God? What is deceptively hidden in our heart (Jere. 17:9) is our feelings about how God should act in the matter, yet without consulting him. We cannot separate human relationships from our relationship with our God. The Lord told Moses “you did not treat me as holy in the midst of the people …” Moses was angry at the people and his actions were actually a mistreatment of God. Moses did not act the way God wanted him to act in that particular situation.

Our walk with people and our walk with God are a unit. When we call ourselves disgruntled with someone, we’re also disgruntled with God. Appropriately, God blesses the just and unjust. We must not think we can act differently.

You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48

--E.C. Malone 02/07/2015

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