Fellowship at Cross Creek
Life of Moses
Alone with God…
10/5/3; ed. 9/20/15
Introduction…What does a good relationship truly cost? Are good relationships expensive? If so, why?
What about the costs associated with a royal wedding? Ever seen one? Why do nations and royals go to such lengths to get married? Do such weddings always work? Why or why not?
What about you? Do you have a costly, but deeply meaningful relationship? What did this relationship cost both parties? How has it been maintained over time?
As you study and observe this passage that for all intent purposes is a royal wedding of sorts, why do you think God goes to so much trouble, time and expense to not only bring his bride, Israel, to himself but to enter into a covenant with her? Why the big deal?
What about you and God? Has this been a costly relationship? If so, how so?
Read Passage several times…
Exod. 24:1 Then he 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,
So Moses, Aaron, Aaron’s two sons and seventy of all the elders of Israel will come close, but not too close to Yahweh? Why? Why close, but NOT too close? How were these men chosen?
2 but Moses alone is to approach the LORD; the others must not come near. And the people may not come up with him.”
So the people are the furtherest out; then Aaron, his sons and the elders, the next closet in, and then Moses, the closest? What is going on here?
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.”
So the minister or mediator goes to the bride–the people—and after having been rescued from Pharaoh’s clutches via the Ten Plagues and miraculous parting and crossing of the Red Sea, as well as, having miraculously crossed a major portion of the Sinai Desert, and now, having come to the Mountain of God and hearing the initial provisions of the Covenant—their system of laws–somehow…someway, the bride collectively agrees. We will be your people, and you will be our God. We will abide by the laws you have laid out before us, and we will follow the angel you have set before us to forge a trail through the unfriendly nations that we shall face on our journey to our destined homeland.
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.
So is this sacrifice a continuation of the covenant’s ratification or something else? Was there any connection between the altar and the 12 stone pillars? Was the altar separate from the pillars? Did the pillars surround the altar per chance? Did it make any difference? What did the pillars represent concerning the tribes? Their categorical presence within the covenant or Yahweh’s presence? In other words, the nation-bride existed by her tribes in the presence of God?
5 Then he sent young Israelite men, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as fellowship offerings to the LORD.
What is a fellowship offering—what it’s title suggests—something that connects the worshiper with God in fellowship? How many bulls—one from or for each tribe? What is a burnt offering? Where offerings already standard procedure amongst the world’s religions? Did Yahweh take what was already in place and just give the sacrifices and offerings new meaning?
6 Moses took half of the blood and put it in bowls, and the other half he sprinkled on the altar.
Blood on the altar—what did this signify? What was the blood in the bowls for?
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.”
The entire Law or just the previous four chapters of Exodus—20-23? Again, so that there may be no doubt, the bride both hears the covenant and agrees to its contents once again.
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.”
So half the blood on the altar, symbolizing God or the holy Groom and the other half on the bride? So death or sacrifice atones for or cleanses or makes holy both Groom and Bride or, along with the Bride, since God is already perfectly holy, the Bride and the place where Groom and Bride will meet…at the alter and therefore worshipfully or sacrificially consummate their national marriage?
9 Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up 10 and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself.
What an incredible sight…God on a pavement of clear sapphire.
So 74 people see the holy Groom that they have just entered into a covenant…that is after they were washed or made holy or cleansed by the blood or death of the sacrificial animals? What a word picture that foreshadows God’s Christ or Messiah’s death as the sacrificial lamb and therefore atonement for the world’s sin. Amazing.
11 But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank.
Because they were holy, and now they enter into fellowship with God…again a foreshadow of the marriage supper or feast of the Lamb with those who by faith or trust embraced his the Lamb’s atonement for sin, received his Spirit, and therefore, grew up to be his holy vessels of light in a darkening world. Is this also a foreshadow of our communion ceremony?
12 The LORD said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and commands I have written for their instruction.”
Now this is interesting. Moses has already written something down once, but now Yahweh wants to more formalize the covenant’s appearance—to place in the box that will not only occupy the Holy of Holies, but lead God’s bride to her promised land.
13 Then Moses set out with Joshua his aide, and Moses went up on the mountain of God.
Here is the aloneness with God mentioned previously in v.2?
14 He said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are with you, and anyone involved in a dispute can go to them.”
Who is Hur? So it would seem that Moses anticipates spending quite a bit of time with the Groom, if he is delegating leadership while he is gone?
15 When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it,
What’s the purpose of cloaking Moses’ meeting with God?
16 and the glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the LORD called to Moses from within the cloud.
Why, seemingly having something to do with Creation in Gen. 1-2, Moses waits six days. Then on the seventh day, Israel’s previously commanded day of rest and worship, I would assume, God calls Moses to himself.
17 To the Israelites the glory of the LORD looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain.
This must have been one awesome and intimidating sight—the dwelling of God in the midst of man. Wow! Wow! Wow!
18 Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
So beckoned on the seventh day, Moses remains forty. That’s a long time to be with God and absent from the Bride.
Summary…Via a ceremony of offerings, sacrifices and blood, the covenant between Yahweh Savior God and his nation bride whom he rescued and is providing safe transit to her promised inheritance is ratified.
Why? (What truths do I learn about God, man, people, myself, life?)
• Intimacy, sacrifice, leadership, truth, contracts, agreements, covenants, feedback, clarity, separation, fellowship, heights, clouds, time…
• A relationship is a special thing to begin with, whether it is the bond between parent and child, husband and wife, friends, soldiers or the Divine and his bride. And to make this happens requires a lot—a whole lot. It is no cheap thing. On the contrary, it can be quite costly. There was nothing cheap about the relationship between God and his bride, the Children of Israel.
• God exists. Israel’s elders saw something…God on highway of clear sapphire. I can only imagine, and they got to eat with him or his in presence or on his table. And for one, Moses, the mediator, he got to go up the mountain further in order to receive a more permanent record of God’s words, presence and agreement with his bride.
Thanksgiving…Much, much, much to be thankful for. God continues to provide in so so many ways, including my Spiritual daughter’s continue growth, redemption and maturity. Heard some wonderful answers to prayer—some on the edge of the miraculous, if not outright miracles…including a physical healing. All I can say, almost each and every day, the fruit that this Spiritual vine is producing seems to be a bumper crop. Thank you, Jesus. Thank, you, Holy Spirit. Thank you, Father.
Struggle? So much is going on. So so much, so much so that nothing has really changed as far as my main struggle and need—balance and time. Balance and time to get everything done that God wants done.
Truth? Aloneness and intimacy with God. It is an interesting thing to observe what occurs when a crushed human being cries out for help to the Living God—the power, the letting go, the rest, the strength, the depth, the love, the focus. No doubt this is what God not only wants to do with each of us, but as he did with Israel, with his church…his collective, called out Spiritual whole…where individual members die to themselves and under the inspiration of God’s Spirit to do incredible things together. That was God’s intention with is Bride here. It is still his intention. We still have his word…truth…a Covenant…the New Covenant…a sacrifice and mediator…the Son…and an angelic hornet to pave the way through a hostile world…the Spirit of God. And oh by the way, we still have a promised destiny, the kingdom of heaven. And the way to that destiny…a passionate pursuit of that aloneness with the Divine.
Application? I had the privilege of watching several holy moments this week in which individuals encountered God in my presence, the last or most recent of which, shed many tears. I sat in silence for perhaps an hour and half, just waiting for any kind of movement or words. With a hug, a few words and a few more tears, they departed. Thanks God for allowing me to come close to your mountain and witness these Spiritually powerful life-changing intimate moments in the presence of God. I am blessed beyond words. Would this not be the case for many more of God’s children…to witness the Divine covenant renewal with members of his bride. Amen. Hallelujah. Glory to God.
Scripture quotations, unless noted otherwise, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version‚ NIV‚ Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. All rights reserved.