GodReflection: Walk Toward the Quake
As I return to where I left off in my last post, I hear the quake and the rumble of Mount Sinai. At the foot of the mountain the time has arrived for a glimpse of Holy God. To search for the message at the heart of the quake I feel the need for Moses to repaint the scene once again.
The Almighty instructs Moses:
Have them wash their clothes and prepare for the third day, because on the third day the Lord will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. You shall set limits for the people all around, saying, ‘Be careful not to go up the mountain or to touch the edge of it. Any who touch the mountain shall be put to death’ (Exodus 19:11-12).
Moses continues the narrative:
On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, as well as a thick cloud on the mountain, and a blast of a trumpet so loud that all the people who were in the camp trembled. Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God.
They took their stand at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke, because the Lord had descended upon it in fire; the smoke went up like the smoke of a kiln, while the whole mountain shook violently. As the blast of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses would speak and God would answer him in thunder (vs 16-19).
My last post ended with the scene of Moses, Aaron, his two oldest sons and seventy of the elders of Israel. They went up the mountain to meet God. The Living Bible describes the awe of the occasion: Yet, even though the elders saw God, he did not destroy them; and they had a meal together before the Lord (Exodus 24:11).
What is the message that rings out from Mount Sinai to our present day? How I can live into Holy Tremors that took place over three thousand four hundred years ago?
I look near the mountain as it quaked and bellowed smoke and find at least three insights into the Holy.
- God wants to meet with His people. He quakes the mountain and the lives of His people to set the perimeters of Holy Love and Holy Respect. Moses reassures the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come only to test you and to put the fear of him upon you so that you do not sin.” God wants His children to know how to walk in line with their Holy design. To walk successfully across life, it would be important to stay near the quake of the Holy.
- At Sinai, God communicates His love and expectation. This faithful communication on God’s part is seen from Sinai on every page of Scripture up through the Book of Revelation. His love and expectation reach fulfillment in Jesus.
- In the presence of the Holy quake there is a feast. This too is an image that weaves its way from Sinai to the present time and on into eternity. It continues to be beyond human comprehension that the Holy desires to share Godhead presence with us. God’s expression of that desire is the feast. From the feast flows great food and Holy fellowship.
It began with a quake to expose His heart.
Moses final trip up the mountain lasted forty days and forty nights. Apparently, over that time the smoke and quake died down. Then comes one of the saddest notes in history. The people lost interest in an out of sight God.
They like us were tempted to live by the present seen, not the unseen Holy. Their desires ring out to Aaron: “Come, make gods for us, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him” (Exodus 32:1).
Aaron uses his God-given ability to create an idol to replace God. The people lost little time with their God exchange, and they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” (Exodus 32:4).
Aaron built the new god an altar and Scripture records: So, the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry (32:6).
Near the tremor of the quake commitments of trust and loyalty were declared. In the absence of the quake and with Moses gone, the people were ready to manufacture gods without quake power. The new gods made no demands and stood ready to celebrate evil. The people allowed their quake Creator God to disappear from the mountain.
Help me to remain plugged into the power of Jesus and Your Holy Spirit. Help me to stay near the Holy quake. For near the quake is love, and the Holy Feast.
To have experienced a glimpse of the quake in this life feeds my hope for the full-blown Holy Presence at the Holy Feast in the next reality.
In the name of Your Son Jesus,
P.S. Don’t you think we would all do a better job at life if we make it our goal to live near the quake?
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection: The Quake Exposed God’s Heart