13 Nov But Moses Drew Near..
It’s been three months since Moses led the House of Jacob out of the land of Pharaoh.
And they have finally made it to the foot of Mt Sinai.
(They don’t know this of course, but it will be another forty years before they get into the Promised Land. And not all of them, poor souls).
Meanwhile, the children of Israel have witnessed several incredible events:
- At the very beginning of their journey, the Lord dramatically parts the waters of the Red Sea, so that they can safely cross over on dry land.
- He then swiftly obliterates their oppressors, by closing the waters over them as they hotly pursue their former (free) labour.
- The Lord faithfully provides water for them while in the desert, on one occasion even turning bitter water into refreshingly sweet water, good enough for them to drink.
- He supplies them with fresh food daily, in the form of something they have never seen before. And all they have to do is collect it from the desert floor each morning – no planting, no weeding, no pruning, no toiling. Of course they promptly name it “what is this??”
- Just two months into the trek, the Lord faithfully leads the straggly band of travelers to a stunning victory against an attacking army. These are the warriors of Amalek, a powerful nomadic tribe who live in the Wilderness of Sin.
- Throughout this journey, the Lord never leaves the Israelites, guiding them by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
I think it is safe to say, dear reader, that by the time the Israelites get to the foot of Mt Sinai, they know something of the Lord our God.
They know enough, at least, to recognize that it is He who has delivered them from Pharaoh, and that He cares enough for them to accompany them, and provide for them, throughout this perilous journey.
But here’s what happens next;
When they get to the foot of the mountain, the Lord commands the Israelites to consecrate themselves for two days, and then come to Him, so that He may speak to them directly.
And on the appointed day while they are yet in the camp – and much to their surprise – they hear great thunderings and lightnings coming from the direction of the mountain.
Presently, and to their utter astonishment, a thick cloud appears atop the mountain!
They hear the sound of a trumpet, so loud that they begin to tremble in fear.
Moses, the leader, then does as previously instructed by the Lord.
He brings the Israelites out of the camp to the foot of Mt Sinai to meet with the Lord.
The mountain quakes violently, and the children of Israel again hear a trumpet blowing, long and hard.
The Lord then descends gloriously onto the mountain and addresses His people directly, giving them the laws by which they are to live from then on.
The people are terrified, afraid of what they have just seen. They shake in fear and refuse to budge, choosing instead to stand afar.
But not Moses.
This faithful man of God, we are told, moves forward, and draws near the thick darkness, where God is..
From all my studies of Moses and the children of Israel, I have come to a certain conclusion;
That the servant of God, Moses, had a much better understanding of the Lord our God than his countrymen, the Israelites, did.
While Moses revered and respected the Lord, he seemed equally determined to walk with Him and obey His commands, even unto the very conclusion of his God-given purpose.
And God graciously responded by revealing Himself, as well as His will for His people, directly to Moses, throughout the Israelites’ troubled wanderings in the desert.
Perhaps this is why centuries later, the Psalmist wrote; “He (God) made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.”
Maybe the lesson here is this;
That if you want to know the Lord our God deeply and personally – to walk with Him, talk with Him, fellowship with Him, know His acts and His ways – all you need to do, dear reader, is determine in your heart to draw near to the Lord at all times, like Moses did.
Go ahead and draw near to Him now won’t you?
Go ahead, draw near..
He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. Psalm 103:7
So the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was. Exodus 20:21
For the full account, feel free to drop by and visit the weary travelers at the foot of Mt Sinai.
(Image Copyright: V. Gilbert and Arlisle F. Beers)