Summary: This is the eleventh message in a series over the life of Moses that shows being God's man is never easy. This message brings Moses full circle back to where he first encountered God.
Scouting has long been considered the most successful youth movement in the world. In the world today there are 31 million youth from 210 countries involved in scouting. Scouting was founded by an English military officer by the name of Robert Baden-Powell in 1907. The motto of the Boy Scouts is “Be prepared.” "Be prepared for what?" someone once asked Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, "Why, for any old thing." said Baden-Powell. But Baden-Powell wasn't thinking just of being ready for emergencies. His idea was that all Scouts should prepare themselves to become productive citizens and to give happiness to other people. He wanted each Scout to be ready in mind and body for any struggles, and to meet with a strong heart whatever challenges might lie ahead. As we catch up with Moses and the Hebrew people God wants them to be prepared. Be prepared for what? Be prepared to worship. Worship requires preparation because if it is approached in the right manner it will impact every area of our lives. Today, Moses will bring the people face to face with their God and they will learn how God desires to be worshipped. We will discover that at the top of the list worship requires an obedient heart. Today we will discover the guidelines that will enable us to meet God face to face on a regular basis.
I. Preparing to meet your God.
A. God designates the exact meeting place.
1. After three months on the road the Hebrew people arrive in the desert that surrounds Mt. Sinai.
2. Mt. Sinai is the largest of three granite mountains that exist in this barren region.
3. Without a doubt Moses is excited for the people to encounter God on the mountain.
4. The people moved their camp to the front of the mountain and settled in there.
5. Moses now leaves the people and climbs the mountain to meet with God to receive further directions.
B. God outlines the necessary steps for preparing to worship Him.
1. God’s opening words to Moses actually introduce the covenant in the standard treaty format of the ancient near east by affirming three things.
a. You have been witnesses of what I have done in Egypt.
b. You have experienced how I have protected you.
c. You have seen my great patience.
2. To maintain this special covenant relationship the people must do two things.
a. They must be obedient to all the things that God requires of them.
b. They must do everything they can to faithfully keep the covenant with God.
3. The people’s obedience and faithfulness would result in three main blessings.
a. Israel would always be God’s treasured possession.
b. God would set Israel apart to carry out a unique function in the world.
c. They would be a holy nation that was set apart from all other nations of the world.
4. After spending time receiving the message from God, Moses returns to challenge the people and the elders of the people affirmed their commitment to follow the Lord.
5. Moses climbs the mountain once again and reports the people’s willingness to God. God instructs Moses to return and prepare the people to meet Him in a new and spectacular way.
C. Preparing the people to meet their God face to face.
1. They people were to consecrate themselves and this would be shown in three ways.
a. They were to wash their clothes.
b. They were to abstain from sexual relations.
c. They were to restrict their movements.
2. The mountain was off limits to all men and animals. If any person or animal touched the mountain they were to be put to death.
3. When they heard the trumpet sound it would then be safe to approach the mountain.
4. The people would spend the next three days preparing themselves for their meeting with God.
II. A meeting that will forever be etched in the memories of the people.
A. God chooses to reveal Himself to the people in a spectacular way.
1. There were five spectacular signs that accompanied God’s appearance.
a. Thunder and lightning.
b. A thick cloud enveloping the mountain.
c. Unbelievably loud trumpet blasts.
d. Fire and smoke.
2. The signs left a deep impression on the people as it literally scared them out of their wits.
3. The people then witnessed Moses speaking to God and actually heard God answering Him.
B. God wanted the people to have complete respect for Him.
1. The people for the first time truly witnessed the glory, power and majesty of their holy God.
2. Moses assured the people that there was nothing to fear, God was testing them.
3. God’s desire was for the people to respect Him completely so that they would not sin against Him.