Sunday May 13th
Little Johnny came home from church all excited, and his mother asked him what he had learned in Sunday school.
"Well Mom”, Johnny said, “our teacher told us how God sent Moses behind enemy lines on a rescue mission to lead the Israelite people out of Egypt."
“Oh, that sounds interesting”, his Mom said.
Johnny nodded his head and continued, "And when they got to the Red Sea, he had his army build a pontoon bridge over the water and all the people walked across safely. Then, he radioed headquarters for reinforcements. And they sent jet bombers to blow up the bridge and drown the Egyptians, but all the Israelites were saved".
His mother crossed her arms and asked, "Now, Johnny, is that really what your teacher taught you?"
Little Johnny looked down at the ground and shook his head. He knew that you should always tell the truth to your mother. Then he said,
"Well, no Mom, but if I told you the story the way the teacher did, you'd never believe it!"
I think we can all agree that the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt was a powerful supernatural event. But God was just getting started with the journey that He was taking them on. And even more supernatural event were about to unfold here in Chapter 24:
Then He said to Moses, “Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu and seventy of the elders of Israel, and you shall worship at a distance. 2 Moses alone, however, shall come near to the Lord, but they shall not come near, nor shall the people come up with him.”
Just like with the 12 apostles, there was an inner circle who went with Moses, and it included Moses’ brother Aaron, Aarons sons Nadab and Abihu, and seventy elders. We are going to discuss them more in a little bit but let’s see what unfolded next:
3 Then Moses came and recounted to the people all the words of the Lord and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words which the Lord has spoken we will do!” 4 Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. Then he arose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain with twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. 5 He sent young men of the sons of Israel, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as peace offerings to the Lord. 6 Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and the other half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. 7 Then he took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!” 8 So Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”
So twice within these six verses, the people proclaim - “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”
And then Moses confirms their promise by them with “the blood of the covenant”, and that blood puts the covenant into effect.
If we look at Hebrews 9:19–22 we see this:
“For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded you.” 21 And in the same way he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry with the blood. 22 And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”
The blood signified a cleansing from sin so that the people could enter the covenant, and it reminded them that the penalty for breaking the covenant was death. Jesus proclaimed the fulfillment of the Old Covenant and the establishment of a New Covenant at the Last Supper when He said: “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28)
So before Laurie takes us through the remainder of this chapter I want to take us back to that list of names of those who were in Moses’ inner circle. Because you may remember two of those names from our study of Leviticus.
Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them. 2 And fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.
So these two sons of Aaron, members of Moses’ inner circle, broke the covenant that they had sworn to uphold, and they lost their lives. The question that we need to ask is twofold. First, how did they let that happen? And second how could they have avoided it? The answer is found in the glory! Here’s what happened next:
9 Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, 10 and they saw the God of Israel; and under His feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself. 11 Yet He did not stretch out His hand against the nobles of the sons of Israel; and they saw God, and they ate and drank.
12 Now the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and remain there, and I will give you the stone tablets with the law and the commandment which I have written for their instruction.” 13 So Moses arose with Joshua his servant, and Moses went up to the mountain of God. 14 But to the elders he said, “Wait here for us until we return to you. And behold, Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a legal matter, let him approach them.” 15 Then Moses went up to the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 16 The glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; and on the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud. 17 And to the eyes of the sons of Israel the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the mountain top. 18 Moses entered the midst of the cloud as he went up to the mountain; and Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
“O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted,
Behold, I will set your stones in antimony,
And your foundations I will lay in sapphires.
Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne, like a sapphire stone in appearance; and on that which resembled a throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a man.
2 Corinthians 3:3
being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.”
in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,4 having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.
And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation