Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Vows of Mount Sinai


Remember that we have been "counting the Omer." We are counting up to the 50th day after the Feast of First Fruits. That 50th day must be pretty important for God to command our counting those days. What did Pentecost or Shavuot (the 50th day) represent?

After the Israelites left Egypt and had secured their freedom from slavery, God headed them in the direction of Mount Sinai. On the 47th day God told them to prepare for that 50th day.

Exodus 19:10-11 (KJV)
10 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes,
11 And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.

On the 50th day God was going to come down in the sight of all the people! In preparation the people were sanctified and they washed their clothes. They needed to be holy in order for God to meet with them.

Exodus 19:16-20 (KJV)
16 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.
17 And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.
18 And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.
19 And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.
20 And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.

God actually came down onto Mount Sinai and He spoke, requesting Moses to come up into the Mount. Moses complied and what was he given? Chapter 20 of Exodus begins relating the Ten Commandments and the rest of the Mosaic Law. This was the important event that occurred on the first Pentecost!

Let's remember, too, God's purpose in giving the Law.

Exodus 19:5-8 (KJV)
5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him.
8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.

God was gathering a people unto himself, that would be a kingdom of priests, and would be a holy nation. Notice, too, that the people answered by saying that "all that the Lord hath spoken we will do!" Yet, the Law had not been given yet. They were responding without even fully knowing the requirements.

Does this remind you of any other common practice?

Many of us have stood before the holy God with a life partner and declared lifelong wedding vows. The Israelites, in effect, were entering into a covenant relationship with Almighty God in much the same way as a bride and groom do on their wedding day. Yet God had already pledged His commitment to His people. We are reminded of it when we drink the Fourth Cup at the Passover Seder, the Cup of Praise.

Exodus 6:6-8 (KJV)
6 Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments:
7 And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.
8 And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the LORD.

Yet, as amazing and wonderful this event is, it provided a foreshadowing of at least two other events. After Yeshua's death and resurrection, the Jews were in the process of counting the Omer. When the 50th day and the Feast of Pentecost or Shavuot arrived and the believers were likely in the Temple,  the Holy Spirit came upon them and changed them forever. The second event has yet to come.

Revelation 19:4-9 (KJV)
4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.
5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.
6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

One day Yeshua's Kingdom will be established on the earth and the believers will participate in the marriage supper of the Lamb. He will have His people!

Wow, that counting business IS pretty important!

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