Prepare to Meet Your God
Holy One, I lift up my voice in praise to You. I long to be touched by Your Spirit.
Read Exodus 19:1-25
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.
Getting ready is an important part of going out. It helps you prepare for your meetings and not take them for granted. “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psa. 46:10).
Mount Sinai serves as the setting for the next 58 chapters, which is why many give up reading through the whole Bible at this point! Yet this will be a nation-defining experience. Fifty days have passed since the Israelites left Egypt, and they have, with God’s help, navigated the perils of the desert and found food, water and protection, rebranded in terms the New Testament will take over for the church: a treasured possession, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. The call is to trust and obey, and to do so by accepting God’s covenant.
In the West we have lost a sense of the mystery and majesty of God’s presence. He is the living God and in his relationship with the people of Israel he establishes clear physical and moral boundaries over which they are not to step. You cannot rush into God’s presence nor be casual about approaching him. Careful preparation is needed before you encounter God. Washing of clothes reminds the people of inner cleansing. Temporary abstinence is a discipline to help them tune into the voice of God. Perhaps we miss out on God’s voice because we do not take time to prepare ourselves properly.
Moses must lead by example. The clock was ticking down for the divine appointment in three days, heralded by a trumpet blast. Three days can seem a very long time–ask Jonah, or the disciples. In the event, the accompanying signs of thunder and lightning, smoke, fire and earthquake made the instructions to keep back superfluous. No one wanted to draw near, and it must have taken great courage for Moses to ascend into the cloud. Aaron is called to accompany him, and they must have felt that coming into Pharaoh’s presence was, by comparison, easy.
When did you last truly experience the presence of God? What impact did it have on you? What lessons can you learn about encountering God from this chapter?
“How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven!” (Gen. 28:17). Lord, forgive me when I rush into Your presence. I bow before You.