Ex 20:18 states “All the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance. Then they said to Moses, “speak to us yourself and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, or we will die.” Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and ir order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.” So the people stood at a distance, while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was.
Do you know that God’s original intention was for every single Israelite to be a priest, not just the tribe of Levi. Consistently in Scripture you see God desiring to come down and be with or in the midst of His people. He wanted complete intimacy with Israel from the beginning. He did NOT want any mediator between them or any need for Priests.
So what happened???
The people said no. Getting that intimate with God was too risky. He was asking for too much.
In essence that day the children of Israel said, “You be God up on the mountain, awesome, terrifying, loving, and saving at a distance. Don’t get too close, don’t ask too much of us, don’t change us too much. Instead, Moses, you go up. You become that intimate with God and we’ll be content to listen to you speak a word from the Lord.”
It’s sad but the truth is that we are no different. God is desiring intimacy with you, not just with your pastor (or worship leader, mentor, professor, parents, spouse…). Yet how often are we content to sit in the pews and listen as our pastor speaks a word from the Lord to us, instead of daring to go all the way with God and hear Him speak for ourselves?
Are you willing to go up with God onto Mt. Sinai? Are you willing to say “speak, Lord, I am your servant and I am listening?” Or are you standing at a distance letting someone else approach the cloud where God is waiting?
There is an incredibly awesome, terrifying, and yet extremely loving God that is waiting for His people to join Him on the mountain. By the power of the Holy Spirit may we never be content to let someone else become intimate with this God while we sit back and envy them. May we run with reckless abandon to meet this God and all that this entails.