This morning I was taken to a telling in the Old Testament right before Moses received the Ten Commandments. It takes place in Exodus 24 and for some reason I don’t think I ever took this part of Scripture into my spirit as I did today.
Exodus 24:1-2 NLT
Then the Lord instructed Moses: “Come up here to me, and bring along Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of Israel’s elders. All of you must worship from a distance. 2 Only Moses is allowed to come near to the Lord. The others must not come near, and none of the other people are allowed to climb up the mountain with him.”
I don’t know if I have been blind til now but I have never seen this passage about the 70 elders going up. Where have I been? The thought of Moses telling the elders something like, “And yes, as I was talking to God today he said to bring you up for worship as long as you don’t get too close.” I wonder what they said to one another. They were probably fearful and maybe they might have asked, “Will the cloud be removed?
As we go on let’s look at verses nine through 11 of Exodus 24.
9 Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up the mountain10 and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was a surface that looked as if it were paved with blue sapphire stones, and it was as clear as the sky!11 These leaders of the Israelites saw God, but God did not destroy them. Then they ate and drank together.
These three verses are full of nuggets. Verse 9 says, “They saw God.” What? It doesn’t say Moses saw God and described Him to them or told them to run or anything–it says they saw GOD. At this point I would really like some more info–how about you? I want to know “more” God! Verse 10 says that under God’s feet it looked like what was blue sapphire stone or some translations say “a blue sapphire pavement”. Can you imagine looking at God standing on a throne of blue sapphire? After that we are told that these men “saw” God and he did not destroy them. I bet they had wondered why God had really brought them up there but as Abraham was faithful to present his son Isaac as God had asked him, these men were obedient to their God and to their leader, Moses. Many things are missed out on because of occasional disobedience. What if these elders had not believed Moses and refused to go? What they would have missed. Well back to the story. After they see God and he doesn’t exterminate them the Word says ‘they ate and drank together.” Perhaps they had a picnic. They were there to worship God as the invitation relayed. Would we have heard singing and praying echoing from that “up” area. Did God join them in this fellowship? These are the things of the Bible that I love to ponder.
The last thing I received from these verses is that the Lord was standing on his throne which was sapphire stone. Can you imagine the ten commandments being written on this stone? I’m not going to get into the breaking of and redoing of the commandments. I am trying to give an image of blue sapphire stone reflecting with God’s commandments. They didn’t look like that when they were displayed in my elementary school above the water fountain (but I still read them everyday) But wouldn’t it be wonderful to see them that way? Jewish teachings say they could be turned over and the words were not backwards so they weren’t a reflection. What I am trying to do today is just to extol this word so that you may also through the Holy Spirit receive something from God’s word in your place and time. Thank you for reading and may we praise Him at all times.