I love reading the Bible. I was up early Thursday morning, (unusual for me!) and got right into Exodus. Chapter 19 got me thinking about God’s footprints in a very spectacular way.
Chapter 19, from verse 9 onwards:
And the Lord said to Moses, Behold, I come to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you and believe you and remain steadfast forever. Then Moses told the words of the people to the Lord.
10: And the Lord said to Moses, Go and sanctify the people [set them apart for God] today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes.
11: And be ready by the third day, for the third day the Lord will come down upon Mount Sinai [in the cloud] in the sight of all the people.
12: And you shall set bounds for the people round about saying, Take heed that you go not up into the mountain or touch the border of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death.
13: No hand shall touch it [or the offender], but he shall surely be stoned or shot [with arrows]; 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 sanctified them [set them apart for God], and they washed their clothes.
15: And he said to the people, Be ready by the day after tomorrow; do not go near a woman.
Remember, we are in Exodus 19. What we see here is a preparation for the people to hear the Law for the first time. There were certain things they had to achieve and to obey. Wash their clothes and be ready to meet with God by the time two days had passed.
You might be wondering where God’s footsteps come in. Just be a little more patient and I’ll get to that bit.
Things begin to get very exciting from verse 16 onwards, and my thoughts took me to a recognition that I’ve never seen before, ever.
Exodus 19, from verse 16 onwards:
The third morning there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled.
17: Then Moses brought the people from the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.
18: Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke, for the Lord descended upon it in fire; its smoke ascended like that of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly.
19: As the trumpet blast grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him with a voice.
20: The Lord came down upon Mount Sinai to the top of the mountain, and the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain and Moses went up.
21: The Lord said to Moses, Go down and warn the people, lest they break through to the Lord to gaze and many of them perish.
22: And also let the priests, who come near to the Lord, sanctify (set apart) themselves [for God], lest the Lord break forth against them.
23: And Moses said to the Lord, The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for You Yourself charged us, saying, Set bounds about the mountain and sanctify it [set it apart for God].
24: Then the Lord said to him, Go, get down and you shall come up, you and Aaron with you; but let not the priests and the people break through to come up to the Lord, lest He break forth against them.
25:So Moses went down to the people and told them.
So there God is, telling Moses (who heard Him speak) to prepare everyone to meet with God. Specific instructions are given for the people and for the priests.
But it was verse 16 that really got me thinking. Thunders, lightnings and a thick cloud was seen on the mountain. That got me thinking about volcanoes. We have a vast amount of these around the world. In the last few years, there have been reports of many of them going off. The pictures taken have been astounding. These things have thick clouds, fire, ash and lightnings. That made me wonder if that’s what we should be seeing when we read through this chapter. Was God making a volcano out of Mount Sinai at that time? And do we still have these things around the world to remind us of His appearance in the world? After all, we who believe know that God is in control of everything. Whatever it may be, local or national, a weather system (storm) or a volcano or other such thing, God is head of all creation. And He can do what He likes, whenever He likes.
He’s that powerful.
To think that this was all to prepare for the Law being given for the first time made me sit up a bit. And now, thinking about it, does God bring something bigger than usual into our lives when He wants to get our attention? Does He make life a bit like an explosion if He wants to remind us of His Laws? To correct and admonish us, perhaps?
Worth thinking about.
Scripture is for our learning and asking about. I prayed over this verse after reading it earlier. It truly excited me.After yet another rather explosive event happened to me yesterday, I’m wondering again what God wants my attention for.
I sat and listened to an excellent sermon earlier yesterday evening about God’s admonishment for His people. Sometimes, we need His chastisement and I have never been so glad to hear anything as excellent. I’ll give you the link, should you be interested. I truly hope you’ll listen.
It’s called: 7 Questions about God’s chastisement. The pastor is Tim Conway.