My desire is for God to restore us to “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3). However, this will require intimacy with God few of us have known.
One Word –
Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. . . . Now the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. Moses entered the cloud and went up on the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights. Exodus 24:9-10, 17-18
Daily Bible Reading: Exodus 22, 23, 24; Luke 17:11-37; Luke 18:1-14
Big Idea –
The LORD calls Moses, Aaron, Nadab and Abihu together with the seventy elders (Joshua is among them) to come up the mountain for a covenant meal affirming the terms of the covenant God had spoken in the hearing of the people (the Ten Commandments). This setting is significant as the LORD together with the representatives of the people share a meal a sign of God’s acceptance of Israel (or what we might call their salvation), which was by faith.
In this setting Moses and the leaders with him “saw the God of Israel.” The only mention of the LORD’S appearance here is “under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire.” No specific form is given here as the LORD does not want Israel to fashion an image (breaking the second commandment – from the Jewish and Protestant perspectives). While scripture also says, “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.” (Jn. 1:18). Yet clearly it says Moses and the elders “saw the God of Israel.”
So what did they see? I believe in some way they saw Jesus in the radiance of His glory as John says above “He has made Him known.” The description of His feet (sitting, standing, and/or perhaps walking) were upon “a pavement of sapphire.” However, while those who drew near coming up the mountain “saw the God of Israel” the people at the foot of the mountain beheld the glory of the LORD “like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain.” (This would be what they saw at least for six days – the time of the covenant meal with the elders, and possibly for the entire forty days that Moses was upon the mountain as well.)
Thus putting these descriptions together, it appears that Jesus came to eat a covenant meal together with the elders of Israel. His appearance seems to be like the appearance of a man as Ezekiel saw sitting upon a throne appearing as sapphire, with glowing metal, fire and brilliance like a rainbow all around Him (see Ezk. 1:26-28).
So what’s the point? The question for us to consider is will we be like Moses and the elders who draw near to the LORD, beholding Jesus welcoming us into His presence in the fullness of His glory? Or will we be like those who remained in the valley to behold the glory of the LORD as a devouring fire? You see this is a question of intimacy with God.
When Jesus walked with His disciples He was fully human, an ordinary man in appearance. Yet before His incarnation and after His ascension Jesus’ appearance is anything but ordinary. Therefore, let us learn to humble ourselves and draw near to God having a desire to come before the LORD with “acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” (Heb. 12:28-29).
Even though I don’t fully understand it, I want to humble myself drawing near to the LORD to know Him in the fullness of His glory and not stand afar off being consumed by the fire of His glory.
Yes to Yield –
LORD Jesus, I thank You for the revelation of Your Spirit that You want to make Yourself known to us. I want to move past the Sunday School images of Jesus as an ordinary man Who did extraordinary things. And LORD I don’t want to just know You intellectually; I want to know You intimately. Holy Spirit teach me to humble myself that I might draw near with acceptable worship and awe. Forgive me for the many times I turn away from You to pursue the ordinary things of this world; help me to daily seek You confident that You will make Yourself known.