Terms For The People
It has been three months since Israel left Egypt and when they arrive at the desert of Sinai they camped before the mountain while awaiting a word from the Lord. Moses makes the first of three trips up the mountain to hear a word from the Lord. The Lord has chosen Israel to enjoy a unique and extraordinary relationship. God's power was shown over Egypt which the people witnessed firsthand. God's protection was shown as he bore them on eagle's wings by fighting for them and giving them provisions along the journey. God set his affection on the house of Jacob and had brought them to himself. This relationship brought with it certain obligations and responsibilities. Israel would have to obey God's voice and keep his covenant which would make Israel his treasured possession among all the peoples of the earth. They would be to him a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. Moses returned to the people and spoke all the words that the Lord had commanded. The people pledge to do all that the Lord commanded.
Moses ascended the mountain again to report the people's response. The Lord would descend to Moses in a thick cloud where he would speak to him within earshot of the people which would to validate his leadership and authenticate his words. Moses returned to the people, and the people spent the next two days making preparations to meet the Lord because on the third day they would meet their God. Meeting with the Lord was an awesome and sobering prospect. In addition to washing their garments and abstaining from sexual relations, God also had Moses restrict the people's movements and set boundaries. The mountain was off limits, and any man or beast that came in contact with it was to die immediately. Only when the trumpet sounded was it safe to approach the mountain.
The Awesome God Descends
On the morning of the third day, the King of the Universe descended in a way that was graphic, magnificent, and terrifying. The skies exploded with thunder and lighting as a thick cloud enveloped the mountain. The trumpet sounded, and the people trembled before Almighty God. Moses led the people to the mountain, and they stood there awestruck at the sight. The mountain was wrapped in smoke and shook because the Lord had come in fire. The trumpet grew louder, and when Moses spoke, God answered in thunder and called Moses to the top. The Lord instructed Moses to warn the people again about the death sentence that would be executed immediately for any attempting to cross the barriers and look upon the Lord. All the people no matter their position dare not approach holy God lest he break out against them. Moses believed the warnings, and the barriers were sufficient. The Lord commanded Moses to Go to the people once more and then return with Aaron.
Things To Consider:
- How does God save us today?
- How does God protect his children?
- What are the obligations and responsibilities that exist in the new covenant?
- How should we prepare to meet the Lord?
- Do you think there we are too comfortable in the way we approach God today? Why or why not?
- How do we enjoy access to God?
- When was the last time you realized the awesomeness of God, and it struck fear in your heart?
- How might you consecrate yourself before your next corporate worship service?