Friday, October 14, 2022

2022.10.14 Hopewell @Home ▫ Exodus 24:12–18

Read Exodus 24:12–18

Questions from the Scripture text: To whom does Yahweh speak in Exodus 24:12? To Whom does He tell him to go? Where? Who will give Moses what? What is on them? Who wrote them? What must Moses do with them? Who arise in Exodus 24:13? Who goes up where? To whom does Moses speak as they leave (Exodus 24:14)? What does he tell them to do? Whom does he leave behind? For what situation? Who goes where in Exodus 24:15? What happens to the mountain? What covers it? What rests upon it (Exodus 24:16)? For how long? On what day does what happen? What is displayed (Exodus 24:17)? What does it look like? In whose eyes? In what two ways is Moses’s ascent in Exodus 24:18 described? How long was Moses on the mountain? 

What does God show about Himself as He summons Moses to receive the Ten Commandments and other instruction? Exodus 24:12–18 looks forward to the evening sermon on the coming Lord’s Day. In these seven verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that God is a personal lawgiver and a glorious lawgiver.

God is a personal lawgiver, Exodus 24:12–15. After the covenanting ceremony, the elders can come no nearer, but Yahweh tells Moses to come nearer. But it is not just proximity to a place (“on the mountain,” Exodus 24:12; “up to the mountain,” Exodus 24:13; “up into the mountain,” Exodus 24:15; “up into the mountain,” Exodus 24:18) but proximity to a Person (“Come up to me,” Exodus 24:12; “the mountain of God,” Exodus 24:13).

God, of course, is everywhere. Being is inherent to Him, and it is impossible for something else “to be” apart from His presence. But He makes His presence particularly known in particular places and times. So he tells Moses, “Come up to Me […] and be there.” Additionally, Yahweh will personally give Moses tablets of stone. And it will be Yahweh Who has personally written His law and commandments. These are not just user’s manual instructions or legal terms of a distant deity. God’s law is His personal instruction. In fact, the “torah” has as its base denotation the sense of “fatherly instruction.”

God is a glorious lawgiverExodus 24:16-18. There is a strong emphasis upon “glory” here. You may have heard the term “Shekinah glory.” That word is form the word translated “rested” in Exodus 24:16. It is the abiding glory that would rest upon the tabernacle and temple, and now it persists upon the mountain. The “cloud” here cannot be thought of as a cloud of darkness or gray ether but a cloud of glory. 

Yahweh calls Moses from the midst of the glory-cloud (Exodus 24:16), and Moses goes into the midst of the glory-cloud (Exodus 24:17). Verse 17 describes how the glory cloud appeared to the children of Israel as “a consuming fire on the top of the mountain.” 

For all this nearness to which He calls Moses, God does not diminish His transcendence in the slightest. It is important to see how His nearness and His glory go hand in hand. Who has had a nearer experience of God than Moses on the mountain or Isaiah in the vision of Isaiah 6? There are those who take a casual posture in prayer or worship, who are thought of as knowing God quite nearly, but this doesn’t disclose nearness to God; it exposes a lack of any true nearness to Him.

It is this glorious, holy, awesome God Who now personally instructs Moses for forty days and forty nights. In this time, between here and the end of chapter 31, He focuses almost entirely upon the tabernacle and the priesthood, and then gives Moses the two tablets of stone, written with the finger of God. That is to say: the people’s ability to be so near to such a glorious God is the great goal of the instruction.

In what times and places and ways does God present Himself as most objectively near? How are you to perceive and respond to His glory at such times? What changes might you make to follow this more faithfully?

Sample prayer: Lord, thank You for granting unto us to perceive Your glory and to come near You safely through Jesus Christ. Forgive us for taking this lightly or coming before You casually. Make us to know both Your greatness and Your forgiving us in Christ, we ask in His Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP205 “The Praises of Heaven and Earth “Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah”

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