1In the third month after the Israelites left Egypt—
on the very day—they came to the Desert of Sinai.
2After they set out from Rephidim, they entered the
Desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert in
front of the mountain.
3Then Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to
him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are
to say to the house of Jacob and what you are to tell the
people of Israel: 4‘You yourselves have seen what I did to
Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and
brought you to myself. 5Now if you obey me fully and
keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my
treasured possession. Although the whole earth is
mine, 6you a will be for me a kingdom of priests and a
holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to
7So Moses went back and summoned the elders of
the people and set before them all the words the LORD
had commanded him to speak. 8The people all responded
together, “We will do everything the LORD has
said.” So Moses brought their answer back to the LORD.
9The LORD said to Moses, “I am going to come to you
in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking
with you and will always put their trust in you.”
Then Moses told the LORD what the people had said.
10And the LORD said to Moses, “Go to the people and
consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash
their clothes 11and be ready by the third day, because on
that day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the
sight of all the people. 12Put limits for the people around
the mountain and tell them, ‘Be careful that you do not
go up the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever
touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. 13He
shall surely be stoned or shot with arrows; not a hand is
to be laid on him. Whether man or animal, he shall not
be permitted to live.’ Only when the ram’s horn sounds a
long blast may they go up to the mountain.”
14After Moses had gone down the mountain to the
people, he consecrated them, and they washed their
clothes. 15Then he said to the people, “Prepare yourselves
for the third day. Abstain from sexual relations.”
16On 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. 17Then Moses led the people out of the camp
to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the
mountain. 18Mount 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 b trembled violently, 19and the sound of the
trumpet grew louder and louder. Then Moses spoke
and the voice of God answered him. c
20The LORD descended to the top of Mount Sinai and
called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses went up 21and the LORD said to him, “Go down and warn the
people so they do not force their way through to see the
LORD and many of them perish. 22Even the priests, who
approach the LORD, must consecrate themselves, or the
LORD will break out against them.”
23Moses said to the LORD, “The people cannot come
up Mount Sinai, because you yourself warned us, ‘Put
limits around the mountain and set it apart as holy.’ ”
24The LORD replied, “Go down and bring Aaron up
with you. But the priests and the people must not force
their way through to come up to the LORD, or he will
break out against them.”
25So Moses went down to the people and told them.
Since the red sea, the people of Israel have walked for months. They have constantly grumbled and, through the prayers of Moses, God has saved them every time. As they reach Mount Sinai God renews his promise to his people and the leaders Moses has just appointed. He tells the people:
– “you are my treasured possession”. He is seeking a chosen few and wants a relationship with them, not just to be their provider when they grumble.
– “I will make you a kingdom of priests” He no longer wants Moses as the go-between. He is giving all of his followers the ability to connect directly with God
and he tells Moses “I will appear in power so that they trust in YOU”. God doesn’t appear in power just to prove himself. He shows up so that people will believe and trust in the leader he has called, Moses.
If God has called you to lead in his church.
You are his treasured possession – it is more than role to fulfil, Go wants a relationship with you
You are a priest – we have the power to intercede directly for others and engage with God
God will show up – if he has called you to some work he will be there, as he was for Moses, to work through you.