Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Words of Encouragement

I do not consider myself an artist, but I drew this picture of a mountain. As I thought about this lesson, I thought about what the mountain may have looked like. This cloud around the base of the mountain keeps anyone from going up the mountain. It must have been the same for the people of Moses' day. Aren't you glad God has opened the way for us to come to him?

The LORD said to Moses, "I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you." Then Moses told the LORD what the people had said. And the LORD said to Moses, "Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes and be ready by the third day, because on that day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.- Exodus 19:9-10

Moses said to the LORD, "The people cannot come up Mount Sinai, because you yourself warned us, 'Put limits around the mountain and set it apart as holy.' " The LORD replied, "Go down and bring Aaron up with you. But the priests and the people must not force their way through to come up to the LORD, or he will break out against them." So Moses went down to the people and told them. - Exodus 19:23-25

Come and Go. The Lord comes so that we can go. The Lord is speaking to Moses and tells him he will "come" to him so that the people will know that God is with Moses and trust in his leadership. After he does this, he tells Moses to "go" to the people and consecrate them (set them apart) for the time when God will visit with them. After they have consecrated themselves, God says he will "come" to them.

God will come down to the people, but the people cannot come up the mountain to where God is. He tells Moses other than himself, only Aaron is able to come up the mountain. If the people try to brake through and come up the mountain, they will die.

As we look at this interaction of "coming and going" we see some vital information. The first thing we see is that God will come and show himself in his servants so that those that follow will have confidence in the one leading. God gives his approval on his servants. And when his people prepare themselves for his coming, he will also show himself to the people.

Another point that is important is that God came "down" to man because man could not go up to God. This is true again in the New Testament because we see Jesus come down from heaven to be with man, because man could not stand in the presence of God on his holy hill, least he would die.

Only Moses and Aaron could come up the mountain but when Jesus came down to be with man, he called all to go into the presence of his father. Jesus made a way for all to come to God and to dwell with him in his presence. Now we can stand before him when once man was not able to do so. God came to mankind through his Son, Jesus so that we could come to him and be cleansed to stand in his presence.

Today, I pray that we thank God for coming down to us from his holy hill. Let us thank him for removing the barrier that kept us from going up to him and dwelling in his presence. Lord thank you for letting us come to stand in his presence and for cleansing us so that we do not die from being in your glory.