Our passage today is Exodus Chapter 19, the account of the Israelites reaching Mount Sinai and preparing to meet with God, where they will receive the 10 Commandments, though they don’t know that yet!
I think the main thing that strikes me in this chapter, and is a real wake-up call, is the holiness of God. There were very strict rules about who goes up the mountain, just Moses at first, and then Aaron, but not the rest of the priests, and no one, not even animals, must touch the mountain, because otherwise they would surely be put to death. And yet even being near the mountain at the bottom meant all the Israelites had to consecrate and cleanse themselves and their clothes.And all of this is because the Lord God is pure and holy, and the people are impure and sinful, and the 2 don’t easily mix.
Now I know that as we read the NT and hear the message of the Gospel, we realise that what Christ has done for us has made the path to God and access to Him more open for those who put their trust in Him. If we are Christians, the Father and the Son come to live in us by the Spirit, and you can’t get any nearer than that. However, the holiness of God hasn’t changed, and our impurity and fallenness hasn’t changed either. And although the blood of Christ shed on the Cross has cleansed us from our sins, I think there is a real danger that we could play down both the holiness of God as well as gloss over our own sinfulness, as if they really don’t matter anymore. And yes Jesus has sorted things, but we forget God’s holiness at our peril, and so today’s passage has been a real wake-up call to me.
2 more quick things to note today.Firstly, although the whole earth and its people belong to God, the Israelites have been set apart to be His treasured possession, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (v.6). And interestingly these are the same words used for the NT church (which includes us), for example 1 Peter Ch.2 v.9 and Revelation Ch.5 vs.9-10. Do look these verses up for yourselves.And secondly the Israelites wholehearted response, ‘We will do everything the Lord has said’ (v.8), despite the failures already and the failures to come.
Big day tomorrow…!
From our extended church address list, we pray for former church members, who have joined us at various times during lockdown.- Vikkie & Robbie- Champa