Gracefully Truthful

Christ,Faith,Fellowship,Forgiven,Glory,Hope

Read His Words Before Ours!

Exodus 24
Revelation 4
Ezekiel 1:22-28
Exodus 20:18-21

Incomprehensible. Unimaginable. Indescribable.

So ran the thoughts of the small band of men setting one trembling foot before another up the craggy face of Mt Sinai, terrified yet inexplicably drawn to the Presence awaiting them at the summit.

As the Israelites began to settle into the land God promised them, God had invited them to gather with Him around a table as He reaffirmed His covenant relationship with them and gave them laws to shape their new world.

The Mosaic Law, the Ten Commandments plus additional laws given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai (Exodus 20-23), defined living righteously before God. It exposed sin in the Israelites’ lives, showing them and us that none of us can live righteously according to God’s standards on our own

The Mosaic Covenant joined the Israelites in relationship with God; the Israelites agreed to abide by God’s laws, and God agreed to set apart and care for His people. He called them Hiskingdom of priests and [His] holy nation.” (Exodus 19:3-6

This deeply meaningful practice of covenant-making was described throughout Scripture (Genesis 9; Genesis 15); these sacred agreements shared several fundamental characteristics.

First, both parties to the covenant made binding promises. (Exodus 19:3-8; Exodus 24:3-7)
Second, if either party broke their promise, they would be cursed. (Exodus 21-23)
Third, a memorial was created. (Exodus 24:4)
Fourth, a sacrifice was made and a meal was shared. (Genesis 24:5-11)

This is where we reach our destination for this study – a feast at Mount Sinai, marking the final step of the Mosaic covenant ceremony. 

Mount Sinai’s feast was hosted by the Lord Himself! (Exodus 24:1) The guest list for this celebratory meal included: Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and 70 of Israel’s elders. 

Moses was God’s chosen leader, the one who would guide Jehovah’s people out of Egypt and to the Promised Land. (Exodus 3:4-18)

Aaron was Moses’ brother and mouthpiece on their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. (Exodus 4:14-16) Aaron would also become the first High Priest of Israel, functioning as the forefather of Israel’s priestly line. (Exodus 29:9)

Nadab and Abihu were Aaron’s oldest two sons (Exodus 6:23), chosen to succeed Aaron as priests. 

The 70 elders served as the voices of the Israelite people.

God Himself, Yahweh, was seated atop the mountain while the dinner party was invited to ascend the mountain and worship at a distance (Exodus 24:1), such was the overwhelming majesty of God! 

The men obeyed, and while prostrated in worship, they were given the immense privilege of experiencing God and His glory! Awestruck, the leaders joined many figures throughout Scripture who attempted to do the impossible: describe the indescribable glory of God with the limitation of human words. 

Following in the footsteps of the leaders at Mt Sinai are Ezekiel, a priest and prophet of God (Ezekiel 1) living a millennium after this encounter, and the apostle John, who related his visions of God in the book of Revelation. (Revelation 1:1-3

Though separated by time, geography, and culture, these witnesses to God’s glory used similar language to describe their experiences, including those of 
precious jewels (Exodus 24:9-10; Ezekiel 1:26; Revelation 4:2-3)
fire (Exodus 3:1-5; Ezekiel 1:27; Acts 2:1-4)
and rainbows. (Ezekiel 1;28; Genesis 9:8-17)

Each of these momentary glimpses of Yahweh is a beautiful foretaste of the majesty we, as believers, will witness when we join Him in eternal life. They also remind us of God’s utter uniqueness, grandness, and omnipotence. He is beyond anything of this world, for He is Author and Creator. 

As I wrote this study, a verse kept coming to mind:
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10)

Biblical “fear” for the Lord is defined as profound reverence and awe. Reverence is honor and respect. Sisters, can you imagine the fear, reverence, honor, and respect those gathered at the feast on Mt Sinai must have experienced as they drew near to the Holy One? 

God invited these men among Moses to eat at His feet, close enough only to see the floor beneath Him, and still they rejoiced in celebration with food and drink! (Exodus 24:11) The fear of the Lord was strong among all the Israelites as they recognized God’s awesomeness. (Exodus 20:18-19)

When we center ourselves on this reverent fear:

Yet perhaps the most striking aspect of the gathering table on Mt Sinai can only be grasped when we realize the same God at whose feet these men feasted and marveled would one day wrap Himself in flesh, take up a basin and cloth, and wash the feet of His children. (John 13:1-20) Soon after, He would die, assuming the penalty for our sins, and rise to life again, forever rescuing us from the power of sin and death!

Rather than keeping Himself at a holy distance, the glorious Creator and King of all would become Immanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23), inviting us to gather at His eternal table in celebration of the restoration and renewal of all things!

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