Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...



Exodus 19
In the third month after the sons of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. When they set out from Rephidim, they came to the wilderness of Sinai and camped in the wilderness; and there Israel camped in front of the mountain.Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, "Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the sons of Israel: 'You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings, and brought you to Myself. Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel." So Moses came and called the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which the LORD had commanded him.All the people answered together and said, "All that the LORD has spoken we will do!" And Moses brought back the words of the people to the LORD. The LORD said to Moses, "Behold, I will come to you in a thick cloud, so that the people may hear when I speak with you and may also believe in you forever." Then Moses told the words of the people to the LORD. The LORD also said to Moses, "Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments; and let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, 'Beware that you do not go up on the mountain or touch the border of it; whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. No hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or shot through; whether beast or man, he shall not live.' When the ram's horn sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain." So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and consecrated the people, and they washed their garments. He said to the people, "Be ready for the third day; do not go near a woman." So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him with thunder. The LORD came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain; and the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain;, and Moses went up. Then the LORD spoke to Moses, "Go down, warn the people, so that they do not break through to the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish. Also let the priests who come near to the LORD consecrate themselves, or else the LORD will break out against them." Moses said to the LORD, "The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for You warned us, saying, 'Set bounds about the mountain and consecrate it.' " Then the LORD said to him, "Go down and come up again, you and Aaron with you; but do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the LORD, or He will break forth upon them." So Moses went down to the people and told them.

Exodus speaks of the great and glorious power of God working in the midst of His people; yet His power, for the most part, is far off and not to be approached. To touch the very mountain God was to descend upon was death, and ceremonial washings the likes of which Carver Hall has never known were required, merely to stand at the foot of that mountain.

I remember being younger and hearing about the Samaritan woman whom Jesus told, "Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father." I thought it was silly for anyone not to realize that they didn't really need to go to a place to worship God; after all, that was what Jesus was for, right? Yet, as I read the Exodus narrative, I'm beginning, in just the tiniest of ways, to understand what Paul meant when he wrote Romans 9 - 11. They, Israel, God's chosen people, were missing the point. God chose them in order that He might display His glory through them! He took them, set them apart, promised Abraham descendants to come from him, led them out of captivity in Egypt, had mercy upon them as no other people on earth, made them a great nation, promised David a descendant to rule upon the throne of Israel forever, and made all of that true and just in Christ. And how did they react?

They rejected Him.

I often make illogical leaps in my understanding of the gospel. I presume upon the Christ that loved me and gave Himself up for me, forgetting that the Son is far more aware of price that was required me, the price that He paid. I forget that once upon a time, before He shed His blood and bore my guilt and shame, God's chosen people could not even gaze upon the glory of God without the penalty of death. I forget that when my Savior returns, I shall gaze upon His face without fear, and that God Himself will wipe away every tear. Israel, though they knew the glory of God descending at Sinai, became blind to the glory of Christ descending in bodily form. I pray that I, having known the glory of Christ's work in bodily form, do not become blind to the glory of God at Sinai, when Christ had not yet atoned for sin, when it was still death to gaze upon that glory without a Mediator.

posted by Bolo | 3:24 PM
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