Todays readings… Exodus 19&20, Psalm 73, Mark 6


    This was the great promise the people made to Moses when they “encamped before the mountain (of the LORD)” [Exodus 19 v.2].  It was 2 months since they had left Egypt. God instructs Moses to tell the people:  “You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians … Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” [v.4-6]. What an awesome promise!

    What God, through his power, had done to the Egyptians, which they had witnessed, beginning with the plagues, should have filled them with an overwhelming awe as to the nature and power of the one and only God – their God. They readily said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do” [v.8].  

The presence of the Lord is in this mountain,  “there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast so that all the people in the camp trembled” [v.16] The mountain “was wrapped in smoke because the LORD descended on it in fire” [v.18] What an utterly awesome experience!  “The people were afraid and trembled … Moses said … do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear (awe) of him may be before you, that you may not sin.” [20 v.20]

    In a sense the people had been baptised before they came to the mountain.  Paul makes this point. “I want you to know, brothers that our fatherswere all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea” [1 Corinth.10 v.1,2]   

The writer to the Hebrews takes up this example of this awesome encounter with God and invites baptised believers in Christ to contemplate the contrast.  “for you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them …  But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels … to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant.” [12 v.18,22,24] 

    How clear is our spiritual vision? Is it clearer than it was to those with Moses? We all have God’s word, the Bible in our hands, they didn’t.  Are we in awe of the God we serve, or plan to serve, appreciating his wondrous grace and mercy?  We can read of “all that the LORD has spoken.”  Our lives must show how much we realize this and whether we have said, or intend to say, “… we will do.” If we have said it – let us make sure we keep our word?