Dec. 20, 2013
Exodus 19-Part 6
And Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.
Exodus 19:18 KJV
LET IT GLOW
When I open the door to the insert of our fireplace, smoke usually comes out. That is what the fire produces, smoke and heat. If I remember, I open the damper before the door. This opens this metal piece which is over the wood. It allows the smoke to go up into the chimney instead of the doors. There are other places where I have seen smoke, a house on fire, a car on fire, an outdoor fire for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. Smoke is a good clue to us that there is a fire present. And so it was on Mt. Sinai, when God met the Israelites. Get your cup of coffee, tea, or chocolate and join me by the fireplace as we read further.
The Israelites had camped near Mt. Sinai. Moses told them how to prepare for their meeting. The people had two days to get ready. It was a the meeting of a Holy God and standing before Him. They sanctified themselves, set apart, cleaned their clothes, abstained from sex. It was a special day, a special meeting.
How did God make His presence known to the people?
- There was thunder, lightning, a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. It was time. Everyone trembled. Moses led the people out of the camp and to the foot of the mountain.
- Mount Sinai was covered with smoke because the LORD descended on it in fire. The smoke went up like from a furnace, the mountain trembled violently, and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder. He called Moses to the top of the mountain.
- God told Moses to go down and warn the people so they didn't force their way through to see the LORD, and many of them perish. The priests were to sanctify themselves.
- Moses reminded the LORD that He instructed them to put limits around the mountain and set it apart as holy.
- Then the LORD told Moses to go down and bring Aaron up with him, but don't let the priests and people come up. Moses obeyed.
Why did the LORD choose to meet with His people at Mount Sinai?
This remarkable manifestation of God's presence established a healthy fear of Almighty God. A wholesome respect for the all-powerful Judge is a marvelous deterrent to giving in to sin. (Swindoll)
Exodus 20:20 says, And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that His fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.
In other words, God came in order to test them, so the fear of Him remained in them, so they would not sin.
There was another time that the LORD came down to the people. He came in the form of a human baby, as Jesus Christ. That is why we celebrate Christmas.
Do we have a healthy fear of God?
Do we realize that the very God who spoke everything in existence and created us, could release His judgment upon us and remove our breath at any given second?
Are we listening to His Word and Spirit and obey them?
LET IT GROW
Just as Moses met with the Lord at a special place and time, so should believers. We may call our meeting a quiet time, a devotional, or communion. Whatever we entitle it, that regular meeting needs to be daily.
- To meet regularly with God, you need a place. It may be a room in your home, a spot in your office, or a place outdoors. But whatever the location, it should be accessible, private, quiet, and conducive to study and prayer.
- To approach God, you need to be prepared. You should never come to the Lord with an idle mind or a flippant attitude. When you approach His throne, go with the willingness to obey, the sensitivity to hear, the desire to be cleansed, and the attitude of respect He deserves.
- To hear from God, you need the Scriptures. The only written revelation we have from God is the Bible. You need to take the time to read, study, and apply the infallible Word.
- To remember what God says, you need a journal. This should be a record of your spiritual walk with God, not a diary of your daily activities.
LET IT GO
Prepare for the day by meeting with the Father.
Study His Word. Memorize it.
Pray, laying my petitions at the feet of Jesus, with humility.
Respect our Holy God in word and deeds.