My post yesterday was about the magnificent meal that Moses, Aaron, Aaron’s two sons Nadab and Abihu, the 70 elders, and Joshua had on Mt. Sinai with God… yep, they enjoyed a meal with God! That is an incredible thing to me. Here is the link to the post if you missed it – “PRAYER – MEAL ON THE MOUNTAIN”. Today’s post will be a wrap up of Chapter 24 but it is an important one. There is a lot in this chapter about the ratification of the Covenant, however, that is not what I want to focus on. Mainly because this series is about Prayer… and it is hard for me to stay on that subject when there is so much I would love to share about other things that are mentioned or covered in the commentaries that I read about the scripture. I will include a link to one of the articles I read about the entire Chapter 24 if you are interested. It is a very good bunch of information but its main focus is not on prayer so I will not include it in this particular post. I may do a post on it someday but not now. This is the link to the article – ‘The Magnificent Meal on Mt. Sinai’ by Bob Deffinbaugh.
Another thing I want to make mention of is what they saw when they did see God. The scripture just says this…
9 Then Moses went up, also Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, 10 and they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity. 11 But on the nobles of the children of Israel He did not lay His hand. So they saw God, and they ate and drank. (emphasis mine)
They only saw His feet. The author of the article mentioned above suggests that the reason the feet are mentioned is because of the angle that they were viewing Him from. Apparently they were looking up at God and could only see His feet. There are a couple other descriptions of “seeing God” in the Bible, one is Revelation 4:1-6 and Ezekiel 1:4, 22-28. There are some similarities of what they saw. Nonetheless, they saw God and did not perish. That is what is so wonderful.
Oh, to just see the feet of the One who died for me. I cannot imagine seeing His face. Finally face –to-face with the One who died for me. One day I will see His face and so will you if you are a believer and a Christ follower. As the old hymn says… “Oh that will be glory! Glory for me!” (If you are unsure if you will be able to see His face, here is a link to the Simple Plan of Salvation and it explains what it means to be a Christ follower – Bible.org.)
There is some suggestion that there is some time that has passed between the time of the meal and the time when God calls Moses up to give him the 10 Commandments, mainly because of what Moses tells the elders. Here is the scripture.
12 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written, that you may teach them.”
13 So Moses arose with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up to the mountain of God. 14 And he said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we come back to you. Indeed, Aaron and Hur are with you. If any man has a difficulty, let him go to them.” 15 Then Moses went up into the mountain, and a cloud covered the mountain.
So they were in the camp when God calls Moses back up to the mountain. Joshua arises to go with Moses. They ascend the mountain and disappear into the cloud that covers the mountain.
16 Now the glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17 The sight of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel. 18 So Moses went into the midst of the cloud and went up into the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
Moses is now in the presence of God and is about to receive the tablets with the Law (The Ten Commandments) written by the finger of God Himself. This confused me at first because the Ten Commandments were given in Chapters 20-23. However, at that time (chapters 20-23) God spoke the Law so that the people could hear Him give the Law and also so it would give Moses authority in the people’s eyes. Now, this time He is going to write it out on the tablets of stone and give to Moses. God is also going to give Moses the blueprints for the tabernacle and all that is to go inside the tabernacle.
The remaining chapters of Exodus are the blueprints, in great detail, for the tabernacle. God gives very specific instructions on how He wants the tabernacle built, what is to go inside it and how it is to be treated and revered by the priests and the people. This is a quote from the article I mentioned earlier ‘The Magnificent Meal on Mt. Sinai’ by Bob Deffinbaugh.
“From chapter 25 to the end of the Book of Exodus, it is the tabernacle which is the principle subject. I believe that the tabernacle was designed of God to institutionalize, as it were, the manifestation of His presence among His people on an on-going basis, as the mountain had served on a one-time basis.”
The author of the same article suggests that the time spent on the mountain with God (40 days) was part and parcel a test for Israel – which they failed miserably (Chapter 32). There is another quote I would like to include from the same article mentioned above before I wrap this post up. This is in reference to the “wonder of the revelation of God”.
“The wonder of the revelation of God to the elders of Israel was that God did not strike them dead. The wonder of the revelation of God to Moses is that it is described from the perspective of the Israelites, at the base camp, rather than from Moses himself: “And to the eyes of the sons of Israel the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the mountain top” (Exod. 24:17, emphasis mine).”
In closing this post and this chapter and, I presume the book Exodus, I want to include one more quote from the author of the same article mentioned above. The reason I want to include this part of his “Conclusion” is because he says it much better than I could and it is important to understand what he is saying in conclusion to the book of Exodus and the Covenant that has been ratified by the people of Israel.
The ratification of the Mosaic Covenant had great meaning for the Israelite of that day. It meant that there was now a way for God to identify with Israel as His people. Because of this, the tabernacle could be constructed and the glory of God which once was manifested on Mt. Sinai could now come down to this dwelling place:
Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle (Exod. 40:34).
For the Israelites of a later time, it was a great comfort to know that God had established a unique relationship with the nation Israel, and that even when the nation sinned and suffered the discipline of God, their future was assured, for God had committed Himself to His people. Even in a few days, when the Israelites would worship a golden calf, Moses could appeal to God on the basis of His covenant promises.”
This has been quite a journey through the book of Exodus. I have learned so many wonderful things and I hope you have too. The love of God for his chosen people – Israel – is great. They will always be His chosen but we are all adopted into the family of God – if you know Jesus and call Him your Savior. God is such an awesome and loving God. He loves you so much and He always has called you His beloved.
The Song – He Is – Aaron and Jeoffry