October 1, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the Lord had commanded him to speak. The people all responded together, ‘We will do everything the Lord has said.’ So Moses brought their answer back to the Lord. 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.”—Exodus 19:7–9 (NIV)
Three months after escaping Egypt, the Israelites arrive at the Desert of Sinai. It’s here that they stop at Mount Sinai, and God speaks to Moses giving him the terms of their covenant and the ten commandments.
In the verses just before today’s passage, God tells Moses to convey a message to the Israelites about how He will keep them as His holy nation if they obey Him and keep the covenant. God is going to detail more terms of this covenant and give Moses the Ten Commandments at this stop on their journey as well. Yet, before this happens, God physically makes His presence known to the people. Not only do the people hear Him through the dense cloud, but the rest of Exodus 19 also details what the people would see or hear as God speaks to Moses.
This reminds me of something my mom often says. My mom is an unashamed germaphobe, so she is particularly picky when we go to eat out at different restaurants. Something that can either reassure her or mortify her is when the kitchen and chefs are visible from the seating area of the restaurant. For example, eating at a restaurant like Benihana’s or Saito’s, where the chefs cook right in front of you, can be really exciting and reassuring because you can see them handling the food you will eat. On the other hand, a chef who is careless may make his audience feel uneasy. In this short part of the chapter, we can see God’s heart in the way He spoke to Moses so the people would see and hear it was truly Him. He intentionally makes His intentions and presence known so His people would trust Him more, just like a good chef at a restaurant like Benihana or Saito!
God may not reveal His appearance or allow us to hear His audible voice, yet He will always grant us experiences to reflect on and remember His presence, His promises, and His graciousness. In this way, the people were able to trust Moses as their intermediary and trust God as their guide.
In terms of our place today; however, we no longer need a human intermediary between us and God! If we’ve accepted Christ’s free gift of forgiveness and salvation and thus entered the family of God and committed to being a follower of Jesus, then we’ve received the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God actually lives inside of us! Therefore, an additional way we can see God’s character and trust Him is in realizing the beauty, grace, and grandeur of this gift of His Spirit living in us!
Pause: How has God revealed Himself to you and reminded you of His presence and trustworthiness?
Practice: Look for God’s presence in your life today and practice remembering His character throughout the day.
Pray: Father God, thank You so much for always being present in the midst of my life whether I can immediately see or recognize it or not. Help me to continually fix my eyes on You and to continually put my trust in You. I love You. Amen.
Samy Rodriguez has been serving with the Calvary writing team since 2020 as a senior at Calvary Christian Academy. Before going to study communications, biblical studies, and intercultural studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University, she interned with the Calvary Communications Team and was a student leader in HSM (High School Ministry). She is passionate about communicating God’s Word and looks forward to continuing to serve in ministry after college.