Thursday, May 3, 2012
Exodus 19:16-19 Meeting with God
"On the morning of the third day
there was thunder and lightning,
with a thick cloud over the mountain,
and a very loud trumpet blast.
Everyone in the camp trembled.
Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God,
and they stood at the foot of the mountain.
Mount Sinai was covered with smoke,
because the LORD descended on it in fire.
The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace,
the whole mountain trembled violently,
and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder.
Then Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him."
Exodus 19:16-19 (NIV)
This is an amazing passage for several reasons. In only four verses it is able to convey something of the awe that must have gripped Moses and the Israelites as they assembled before the LORD.
First of all, there were the visible aspects of this meeting. It was a morning filled with thunder and lightning. A thick cloud hung over the mountain. A very loud trumpet blast filled the air. Both sight and sound joined to set the stage for this important meeting.
The people trembled -- all of them, not just the faint of heart. It is not every day that a person meets with God. Fear and expectation must have filled their hearts as they approached the foot of the mountain.
Then, things seemed to get even more terrifying. Mount Sinai was smoke-covered, for the LORD had descended upon it in fire. The smoke was billowing up from it as though from an enormous furnace. It probably felt like an earthquake was happening, for the whole mountain trembled violently. The people were not on the mountain itself, but surely they felt the vibrations from this violent trembling. Their ears were filled with the ever-increasing sound of the trumpet. The sense of expectation must have been incredible.
Then, an even more incredible thing happened:
Moses spoke and the people heard the voice of God answer Him.