9 And the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am coming to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you forever.”
When Moses told the words of the people to the Lord, 10 the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments 11 and be ready for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 And you shall set limits for the people all around, saying, ‘Take care not to go up into the mountain or touch the edge of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall be put to death. 13 No hand shall touch him, but he shall be stoned or shot; whether beast or man, he shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain.” 14 So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and consecrated the people; and they washed their garments. 15 And he said to the people, “Be ready for the third day; do not go near a woman.”
I am sure that Moses was quite excited as he shares with the Lord the people’s response to His most gracious offer was “We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey.” We then see the Lord share with Moses the next steps:
- The Lord told Moses that He would make certain the people understood that Moses was hearing from the Lord and trust his leadership. “I will come to you in a thick cloud, Moses, so the people themselves can hear me when I speak with you. Then they will always trust you (verse 9).” I am blessed that this is God’s work and not man’s. Many leaders could learn from God’s faithfulness to Moses as a leader. The walk of faith includes trusting God to do this and not try to do it ourselves by lording over people and becoming controlling. Faith allows leaders to trust God in His gifting within the entire body without fear of losing our leadership. “All these [gifts] are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as He determines (1 Corinthians 12:11).” When the people would rise up against Moses along this wilderness journey, the Lord handled it. We can expect no less today. God always calls His people, leader or not, to walk by faith and not fear.
- “Go down and prepare the people for my arrival. Consecrate them today and tomorrow…
- “…have them wash their clothing.”
- “Mark off a boundary all around the mountain. Warn the people, ‘Be careful! Do not go up on the mountain or even touch its boundaries. Anyone who touches the mountain will certainly be put to death.”
- “Get ready for the third day, and until then abstain from having sexual intercourse.”
The image is one of preparing to meet with the holy and righteous God. The holy God plans to make His presence known and make covenant with a sinful, rebellious people. Despite being chosen by God, for these people to approach Him in some type haphazard, presumptuous way would cause death.
The Old Testament reveals to us the God whose eyes are too pure to see evil and look upon wrong (Habbakkuk 1:13). But here He is ready to make covenant with sinful man and it is His love that provides them a leader and instruction that protects them from rushing into His presence and therefore, death.
This gives us a selah opportunity because as believers in Christ we know that this was a shadow or picture of what, or better yet, Who was to come. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” His Name is Jesus and He opened a new and better way into the presence of the Living God (Hebrews 10:1-25).
12 But this man, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. 13 He is now waiting until His enemies are made His footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are sanctified. 15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. For after He says:
16 This is the covenant I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws on their hearts and write them on their minds, 17 He adds: I will never again remember their sins and their lawless acts. 18 Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.
19 Therefore, brothers, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way He has opened for us through the curtain (that is, His flesh), 21 and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. 23 Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
Praise God, instead of saying stay back, because of the blood of Jesus we are now invited to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).” The Lord promises when we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us (James 4:8). Praise His Holy Name! We don’t deserve this relationship any more than the Israelites did. It is all because of His ‘so’ love poured out in grace and mercy that we can proclaim
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!
And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1
SELAH and give God praise, honor, and glory!