Words of Faith 1-26-2023
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2023
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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 Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up  and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself.  But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank.
 The Lord said to Moses, "Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and commands I have written for their instruction."
 Then Moses set out with Joshua his aide, and Moses went up on the mountain of God.  He said to the elders, "Wait here for us until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are with you, and anyone involved in a dispute can go to them."
 When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it,  and the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from within the cloud.  To the Israelites the glory of the Lord looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain.  Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
This was one impressive prayer meeting! Wow. Consuming fire and a mysterious cloud! Sapphire pavement as clear as the sky itself! Seventy-four invited guests saw the God of Israel. Well, at least they saw as much of God as can be seen. Scripture is clear that no one can actually see God and live (John 1:18, 1 Timothy 6:16).
The Hebrew words used here mean to see literally, figuratively, or even as a vision. This must have been the case. The elders saw a vision, approximation, or faint resemblance of God or perhaps of the incarnate Christ to come. But whatever they saw, it was splendid!
Apparently, this sighting of God was so grand and extraordinary that their eyes saw only below His feet. The splendor of God looked like sapphire. Then they ate a meal before Him. It was common to symbolize the sealing of a covenant with a meal, so this was a sign of peace between the people of Israel and God Almighty.
Moses was summoned to come before God on the mountain to receive the tablets of stone with the Ten Commandments. God had given Moses the Ten Commandments earlier, but now this Law was inscribed in stone. The leadership of the people was temporarily delegated to Aaron and Hur. At the same time, Moses and Joshua proceeded up Sinai, the mountain of God. Joshua probably went up the mountain only part way. A cloud, representing God's glory, heralded the approach of God to meet Moses. God's glory covered the mountain, and He communed with Moses from within the cloud. To the people below, God's glory looked like a consuming fire, and for 40 days, Moses was with God and ate and drank nothing (Deut. 9:9).
This was clearly a "mountain top experience"! Not regular church. There was smoke, fire, and sapphire pavement. Tremendous! But we must realize that such experiences are rare. For these elders and leaders, "seeing" God on the mountain was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, even though they saw the hand of God working in many other wonderful ways.
Years after these events, the Lord drove home this truth with a prophet named Elijah. The Lord said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face, went out, and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" (1 Kings 19:11-13)
Special effects are wonderful. God does the best! Dramatic high points forever speak to God's people. But the truth is that we see and hear God in many small ways daily. We can't live on mountaintops. We hear God in the still small voice far more often than we hear Him speak from the mountaintop or burning bush. The wonderful thing about the Scripture is that we have a testimony of the days God met so closely with His people that they could see His glory.
The question of the day is not, "Will you see God on a mountain top?" The question of the day is, "Will you hear the gentle whisper of God?"
Father God. Let me hear You. Let me discern Your voice among the many that shout. Let me hear Your gentle whisper. Guide and directs me in all my ways. In Jesus' name.
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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2023
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2023 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.
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