Say “Yes,” and Mean It
Lord, as I open Your Word, may Your Spirit, rather than the spirit of this age, instruct me.
Read Exodus 24:1-18
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.
God is never in a hurry. You cannot fast track the things of God. Take time today to listen.
The Book of the Covenant has been given. Now the time has come for the nation to accept its terms and to commit to the details that have been laid out so clearly. For this, Moses is not enough. He is the spokesman for God to the people, but the people need to be adequately represented by their own chosen leadership. So Moses, Aaron, Nadab and Abihu and 70 of the elders of Israel are summoned into the Lord’s presence, though only Moses can draw close to God. Before they go, Moses has carefully taught the people the Word of God from the mountain. Were the people too quick and too enthusiastic to agree to the covenant? Perhaps they overestimated their capacity to comply and would have done well to first stop and count the cost. Vows made before God are always solemn moments and should not be rushed. Then follows an elaborate ritual involving an altar, 12 stone pillars and sacrifices–a fellowship offering emphasizing the new relationship God is establishing with the people.
Sacrifice leads to worship. No doubt those who accompanied Moses up the mountain understood the proper significance of “awe,” not its contemporary over-use. The vision that followed was accompanied by a meal. The prosaic words, “they saw God, and they ate and drank” (11) leave so much unsaid but remind us that God is both mightier than we can imagine and also more intimate than we realize.
Moses takes his leave of them once again and this time he will be away for a significant time. His only companion was his successor Joshua (was he left alone halfway between the camp and Moses–a very long vigil indeed?). Who knows what lessons he learned while waiting on the mountain. Spiritual leadership is about taking time out as well as doing things.
How do you rate yourself at keeping promises? How do you think other people might rate you? Have you found it difficult to keep promises to God? Why or why not?
Mighty God, I want to be known by You as one who means what he says. Too often in the past, I have looked for loopholes, small print, and get-out clauses, rather than obeying You.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Encounter with God is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.