“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. You are to worship at a distance, 2 but Moses alone is to approach the Lord; the others must not come near. And the people may not come up with him.”
3 When Moses went and told the people all the Lord’s words and laws, they responded with one voice, “Everything the Lord has said we will do.” 4 Moses then wrote down everything the Lord had said.
He got up early the next morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain and set up twelve stone pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel. 5 Then he sent young Israelite men, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as fellowship offerings to the Lord. 6 Moses took half of the blood and put it in bowls, and the other half he splashed against the altar. 7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, “We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey.”
8 Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”
As we begin Chapter 24, we find such a blessed invitation, “Come up to the Lord.” Ahhhhhh…Come up to the Lord!
In today’s society, there is much discussion about privilege, how about the privilege we see here? It is the greatest one man will receive. Come up to the Lord and worship! The privilege of being called and chosen by the One, True and Living God. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified (Romans 8:28-30).”
In the Exodus 24:1-8, we see the LORD summon Moses and Aaron, Aaron’s two sons Nadab and Abihu, and the 70 elders to come up the mountain. All but Moses were to keep their distance out of honor and respect for the Lord’s majesty and holiness. We remember that the Israelites encouraged Moses to go alone. (Exodus 19:12-13, 24; 20:18-21).
In my mind, I have a picture of Moses at the top of the mountain. Aaron and the leaders, further down the mountain, and the people all the way at the bottom of the mountain. I am mindful that God honored the peoples choice. We did not see Him reach down and jerk the people to the top against their will. The people are where they want to be despite there being so much more of God to behold and experience. The unchanging God declares in James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” It is a privileged invitation for none of us deserve God to draw near.
God will confirm His covenant with His people but first Moses leads them in worship at the foot of Mount Sanai, erects the twelve pillars representing the twelve tribes, and offers burnt and fellowship offerings to the LORD. Moses then reads the people ALL the LORD’s words and laws (Exodus 20:1-23:33). The people commit to obeying the Word of the Lord, “We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey.”
Moses sprinkles blood as a symbol of the legal transaction between God and the people. What a beautiful picture of the great New Covenant that was yet to come. Jesus established and ratified the New Covenant with His own blood.
“And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” Luke 22:20
“ In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” 1 Corinthians 11:25-26).
Jesus then commissioned His disciples to go out in the world and issue the Grand Invitation to “Come up to the Lord.” What a great privilege and there is no greater relationship.
John 4:23-24 tells us that the LORD is seeking for those who will draw near, “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
We were created for this relationship to the glory of God!
How privileged we are! Hallelujah! Selah!