Summary: Imagine being drawn into the presence of God on Mount Sinai. What an incredible experience. Aaron, Nadab and Abihu worshiped at a distance but Moses got up close and personal. What about you? How close to God do you want to go?
Exodus 24 - As Close as You Choose to be.
Imagine being drawn into the presence of God on Mount Sinai. What an incredible experience. Aaron, Nadab and Abihu worshiped at a distance but Moses got up close and personal, as God called him to receive the stone tablets of the laws of God, signed off in God’s own handwriting. He was invited to come and stay with God for almost a month and a half. How exciting would that be! Talk about adrenalin rush! How electrifying! How terrifying! Moses must have been "packing death" on the inside. He’d been at the burning bush, but this was something else again. He’d watched God bring plagues upon Egypt open the way across the Red Sea. He’d seen water springing forth from a Rock and Manna from God’s hand. All the time he is getting to know God better, but now he is invited to live with Him and speak with Him one on one. That’s the opportunity we have through Christ. Entrance into the holy throne room of God! This morning you can speak one on one with the God of the universe. How awesome is that!
Exodus 24 is where an invitation is given to draw near to God on the mountain - to Moses and Joshua, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy elders.
"There they saw the God of Israel. Under His feet there seemed to be a surface of brilliant blue lapis lazuli, as clear as the sky itself." - Exodus 24:10 (NLT)
"And the glory of the Lord settled down on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from inside the cloud. To the Israelites at the foot of the mountain, the glory of the Lord appeared at the summit like a consuming fire." - Exodus 24:16,17 (NLT)
Moses is taken closer while others remain at a distance. Moses is instructed on Sinai for 40 days and nights.
I noticed Moses prepared himself carefully for this experience and before he left the people, he repeated God’s instructions thus far and the people were all too ready to agree and obey. But we are not sustained by promises of obedience we make but by His grace.
Moses made sacrifices because you don’t approach a holy God without acknowledging His holiness and our sinfulness. 12 pillars were set up to represent the 12 tribes. Blood sprinkled on the altar and on the people. "Lord, bring to mind anything that stands between me and You today so that I can confess it to You and acknowledge the forgiveness You have given to me through the Cross."
When they approach closer to God on the mountain, they see Him without being zapped out of existence. I notice that they describe what is under God’s feet. Perhaps they didn’t dare raise their eyes any higher, as they bowed before God.
How close will you come to God today? The people remained at a distance. Moses, Joshua, Nadab and Abihu, Aaron and seventy elders went further up the mountain. Then Moses and Joshua went further. Then only Moses went into the cloud of God’s presence. God invites you today to draw near to Him today, as close as you choose to go.
"Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honour." - James 4:8-10 (NLT)
God bless you Church as you draw near to God today.