Emerge Devotion No. 1
Feb 7, 2018
By Pastor Wu Yuzhuang
Exodus 19:9-13 (NKJV)
9 And the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I come to you in the thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and believe you forever.” So Moses told the words of the people to the LORD. 10 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes. 11 And let them be ready for the third day. For on the third day the LORD will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, ‘Take heed to yourselves that you do not go up to the mountain or touch its base. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. 13 Not a hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or shot with an arrow; whether man or beast, he shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds long, they shall come near the mountain.”
God wanted to speak to Moses directly, and He allowed the Children of Israel to hear their conversation so that they would believe in Moses’ leadership. However, the Children of Israel were given some serious restriction and instruction:
The first thought that came to my mind as I read this was ... Why was God so strict? Did it warrant a death penalty? What’s the big deal about talking to God and going up the mountain?
We come from a generation that questions and challenges the settings and boundaries around us. To us, meeting with God is very much needed and we do it all the time. So why were there so many restrictions? What’s the whole deal about it?
Exodus 19:16-19 (NKJV)
16 Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. 17 And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. 19 And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice.”
Finally, the day came for the people to meet with God. There were thunders and lightnings, thick clouds and loud trumpets. Mount Sinai was completely in smoke. There were earthquakes and then the voice of God was heard.
God came down into the tabernacle of meeting to meet with Moses. God wanted the people to see Moses speaking to Him and how He responded back to Moses. To the Children of Israel, it was almost an unbelievable sight! A man actually speak with God and have God responding back to him. It had never happened before. That, was a HOLY moment. The Children of Israel were in awe! This was something uncommon! Certainly, to them, it was something holy!
But let’s fast forward to this day and age. For many of us, we view praying or doing our Quiet Time as something normal, regular or even burdensome. How do we treat the presence of God today? Very often, we would reduce our quiet moment with God to that 5-minute prayer before we sleep or saying of grace before food. Some of us pray only when we are in a crisis.
In the days of Moses, it was a supreme privilege to meet with God! They had to prepare themselves for that holy moment. Strict instructions and restrictions were given. And even so, they could only draw near and not enter into the presence of God. Today, the veil is torn and the way is open for us to enter into God’s presence without restriction. We can freely come into His presence. We can worship and pray without rules and restriction. Over time, we become over familiar with this privilege. Something that is so holy has now become common to us. Friends, we need to renew our mind concerning the presence of God; to have a holy reverence as we come before Him. Let us never lose that sense of awe of being in God’s presence, always having a hunger and an unquenchable passion for Him!
Reflect on this: Are you passionate for the Lord today? Or has spending time with God become somewhat of a routine? What are some of the things that you are passionate about and want to do for Him?
Dear Heavenly Father, we pray that You will set us on fire once again. Ignite and deposit in us that passion for You. Let everything that we do for You be out of a genuine love and passion and may it always be a sweet smelling aroma to You. We only have one life to live, help us to live our lives 100% for You! In Jesus name, Amen!