Spread the Load
Sustaining Lord, let me rest in Your presence as I come to read from Your Word today.
Read Exodus 24:1-18
 Then the LORD 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,  but Moses alone is to approach the LORD; the others must not come near. And the people may not come up with him.”  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.”  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.  Then he sent young Israelite men, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as fellowship offerings to the LORD.  Moses took half of the blood and put it in bowls, and the other half he splashed against the altar.  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.”  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.”  Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up  and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of lapis lazuli, as bright blue as the sky.  But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank.  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 commandments I have written for their instruction.”  Then Moses set out with Joshua his aide, and Moses went up on the mountain of God.  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.”  When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it,  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.  To the Israelites the glory of the LORD looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain.  Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat was the response of the people to the Word of the Lord?
Every time Moses goes up the mountain, a few more people accompany him (1; c.f. 19:24). The people are really willing to live in the way God is asking and, one step at a time, are committing more to their agreement with God (7,8). More people are seeing God (9,10). Moses has spread the load by taking Joshua with him, knowing that if he is away for a long while things will be covered back home (14). Finally Moses is beginning to understand what it is to spread the load. And having done that, he spends a long time simply being with God on the mountain after waiting under the cloud for several days (15-18). Through Jesus, we have access to God in ways different from Moses. But there’s something to learn here about quality time. Moses sorted out his responsibilities for the people and then had time with God. What does quality time look like for you? And what responsibilities might be usefully sorted out to allow even more quality time with God? Moses climbed up the mountain for his times with God. It took him away from the “day to day.” What about you?
The people heard God’s Word. How do you respond when you read it? What helps you to be open? How can you be ready to hear?
Mighty and loving God, may my life show good works in response to hearing Your Word.
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