Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
Exodus 24:1-2 (NIV)
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. You are to worship at a distance, but Moses alone is to approach the Lord; the others must not come near. And the people may not come up with him.”
Exodus 24:1-2 (MSG)
He said to Moses, “Climb the mountain to God, you and Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. They will worship from a distance; only Moses will approach God. The rest are not to come close. And the people are not to climb the mountain at all.”
“Then God said to Moses, “Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu (Aaron’s older sons), and seventy of Israel’s elders, and you shall worship at a [safe] distance. Moses alone shall approach the Lord, but the others shall not come near, nor shall the people come up with him.” -AMPLIFIED
In the very first two verses of Exodus 24 we find the Lord speaking to Moses; giving instructions for him to bring a small group of elders and leaders up to worship God on the mountain. In verses 9-11 we see this group climbing up for this encounter with God. “Then they climbed the mountain—Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel—and saw the God of Israel. He was standing on a pavement of something like sapphires—pure, clear sky-blue. He didn’t hurt these pillar-leaders of the Israelites: They saw God; and they ate and drank.” -(MSG)
We see they climbed up the mountain, they saw the God of Israel, they ate and drank a covenant meal in the presence of the Almighty. What an honor these men had; to be chosen to be one of the few to stand in the very presence of God. They saw the manifestation of Jehovah standing on pavement like unto sapphires. WOW!
God, though, wanted Moses to go a step further; this leader, this man of God was called to “climb higher”. “God said to Moses, “Climb higher up the mountain and wait there for me; I’ll give you tablets of stone, the teachings and commandments that I’ve written to instruct them.” So Moses got up, accompanied by Joshua his aide. And Moses climbed up the mountain of God.” (vs. 12-13 MSG)
Before he went higher though Moses told the elders and other leaders, “…Wait for us here until we return to you. You have Aaron and Hur with you; if there are any problems, go to them.” (vs. 14 MSG) Moses left these Aaron and Hur in charge as he went higher to seek God.
Then we find Moses climbing higher, into the very presence of the Almighty; up close. Mind you, this was not a secret from all the other people; for it happened in front of everyone. Scripture tells us, “Then Moses climbed the mountain. The Cloud covered the mountain. The Glory of God settled over Mount Sinai. The Cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day he called out of the Cloud to Moses. In the view of the Israelites below, the Glory of God looked like a raging fire at the top of the mountain.” (vs. 15-17 MSG)
Can you see it? They saw the cloud covering the crown of the mountain, the glory of God settling over the mountain, and the majesty and brilliance of the Almighty on display as a consuming fire atop the mountain? What an amazing sight that must have been!
We find, “Moses entered the midst of the cloud and went up the mountain; and he was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.” (vs. 18 AMP) Moses stepped into the midst of the glory and majesty of the Almighty one; what an honor and privilege. We read that he spent forty days and forty nights there in the presence of the Adoni. Can you grasp what a life changing experience this was for him?
The elders and leaders could see the presence of God, but Moses was welcomed up into the very presence of God. What was the difference? Moses had prepared himself and was focused on God and God alone. Moses was willing to do whatever it took to get closer to God; even climb higher when God told him to do so.
Oh, that we would take more time to spend in the presence of the Almighty! Climb higher my friends; climb higher. Let us not be afraid to step into the midst of the cloud and experience the glory of the Lord our God.
Lord, I want to experience you in all of your fullness; just as Moses did. I want to be able to step into your majesty and glory. You have called each of your children to climb up higher. You want to have a close relationship with us all. I do not know why we would choose any differently; for when I do have a close encounter with you it is the most wonderful thing I have ever experienced. Help me to choose to spend more time with you. I understand that you need to be the top priority in my life, Lord. Help me to climb higher!