Divine Encounter – Exodus 19:9-22
Today’s Reading Schedule: exodus 19-21(CEB)- Click to read
9 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I’m about to come to you in a thick cloud in order that the people will hear me talking with you so that they will always trust you.”
Moses told the Lord what the people said, 10 and the Lord said to Moses: “Go to the people and take today and tomorrow to make them holy. Have them wash their clothes. 11 Be ready for the third day, because on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai for all the people to see. 12 Set up a fence for the people all around and tell them, ‘Be careful not to go up the mountain or to touch any part of it.’ Anyone who even touches the mountain must be put to death. 13 No one should touch anyone who has touched it, or they must be either stoned to death or shot with arrows. Whether an animal or a human being, they must not be allowed to live. Only when the ram’s horn sounds may they go up on the mountain.”
14 So Moses went down the mountain to the people. He made sure the people were holy and that they washed their clothes. 15 He told the men, “Prepare yourselves for three days. Don’t go near a woman.”
16 When morning dawned on the third day, there was thunder, lightning, and a thick cloud on the mountain, and a very loud blast of a horn. All the people in the camp shook with fear. 17 Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their place at the foot of the mountain. 18 Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the Lord had come down on it with lightning. The smoke went up like the smoke of a hot furnace, while the whole mountain shook violently. 19 The blasts of the horn grew louder and louder. Moses would speak, and God would answer him with thunder. 20 The Lord came down on Mount Sinai to the top of the mountain. The Lord called Moses to come up to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. 21 The Lord said to Moses, “Go down and warn the people not to break through to try to see the Lord, or many of them will fall dead. 22 Even the priests who come near to the Lord must keep themselves holy, or the Lord will break loose against them.”
What Does the passage Mean to Me/US?
Exodus records couple of encounters between human and God.
The first encounter was when God calls Moses.
During the time Moses followed God’s command, there was no indication that it was a face-to-face encounter (Doesn’t mean that there wasn’t an encounter).
For the second time, first time for the Israelites, God was more specific in how to prepare for the encounter.
The whole assembly was to prepare for two days to make themselves holy. Even with all the cleansing, only Moses was allowed to approach God. That was the reality of how the unholy couldn’t approach the holy.
We can learn two things from this passage.
First, God is a God of grace, who made the way for us to approach His throne through Jesus Christ.
“In Him and through faith in Him we may enter God’s presence with boldness and confidence” (Ephesians 3:12)
God is no longer a God of distance. And it is true that we can take this grace for granted.
Second, we see how the people were to prepare to come in front of the throne.
Even though we believe, through Jesus Christ, our preparation is complete. Our preparation or cleansing will never make us just in front of God. However, I do have to ask a question. Do we come and approach the throne of God, through our worship and devotion, with an expectation to encounter God, with the same kind of preparation?
What preparation do we do to encounter our Lord?
Lord, we are thankful for your grace, allowing us to freely approach your throne. Prepare us, as we practice your presence, daily, to experience an encounter with you. Grow us in our faith to you, every day. In Christ Name, we pray, AMEN
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