Day Twenty-Eight, Exodus 19-20, 23-24
Today's reading is most exciting. Moses meets God on a mountain!
That's right. Moses gets to see the glory of God! The Israelites get to hear Him. Seventy elders get to see His glory!
After wandering in the desert, the Israelites have reached Mt. Sinai on the Sinai peninsula, where God tells them to consecrate themselves for two days. On the third day, He will come down on the mountain, give his commands to His people Israel, and He will make a covenant with them.
He had Moses put limits around the mountain so that no one could touch it or even come near it. On the third day, there was lightning and thunder, with a thick cloud of smoke that covered the mountain, and the people heard a very loud trumpet blast. The Lord descended on the mountain in fire, the whole mountain trembled violently, and the sound of the trumpet blast grew louder and louder. God calls Moses up and tells him to make sure the people don't come near the mountain. Moses goes back down, and it's at this point that the Lord gives Israel His ten commandments:
1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
2. You shall not make for yourself an idol.
3. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
4. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
5. Honor your father and mother.
6. You shall not murder.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not give false testimony.
10. You shall not covet.
At this, the people were afraid. They asked that God speak to Moses and Moses speak to them. They said, "Do not have God speak to us, or we will die."
God gives Moses instructions for building an altar. Then he promises His guidance, His presence, and His blessings. As long as Israel agrees to keep His commands, He will be their God, and they will be His people. Then the Lord called seventy elders to go up with Moses to worship, but Moses alone was to approach the Lord. Moses told the Israelites all that the Lord had said. The Israelites agreed to obey His commands, so Moses wrote down everything the Lord had said.
The next morning, Moses again set up a memorial of twelve stone pillars, representing the twelve tribes of Israel. Moses sent young men to offer burnt offerings to the Lord. He took half the blood and sprinkled it on the altar, and put the other half in bowls. Moses read the book of the covenant the people, and again, they agreed to obey the Lord's commands. So Moses took the rest of the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, "This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words." Moses went up to worship with the seventy elders, who were able to see the glory of the Lord.
Finally, the Lord called Moses up to get the Ten Commandments, which the Lord had written down. Moses, along with Joshua, his aide, goes up the mountain and is there forty days and forty nights.