Exodus Chapter 19 Verses 14-15
14 “And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes. 15 And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives.”
In obedience to the command of the LORD, Moses relayed the words of the LORD and sanctified the people. The people washed their clothes as they were to be clean and wear clean clothes in approaching to the holy presence of the LORD. Moreover, Moses told the people to abstain from sexual relations as they approached to the LORD. While there is a time and a place for sexual pleasures
between a married couple, the setting ourselves apart to come into the holy presence of the LORD means exactly that and we should prepare ourselves to hear his words, both in mind and body.
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.”
Sometimes there are scriptures that lay the groundwork for other scriptures. We often find patterns in the scripture that hold throughout the bible. The use of thunders and lightnings is often associated with the severe judgments of God. The smoke of a furnace and fire are also associated with the wrathful judgments of God. The arising of smoke is associated with the judgments of
God. When the people heard the sound of the thunders and lightnings and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud, then all the people in the camp trembled. It was a fearful and dreadful sight and circumstance. The commandments of God and our relationship to the commandments of God as violators of those commandments should make us all fear and quake as we realize the wrathfulness of God in eternal judgment.
“And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.” Here we find the LORD fulfilling his promise that the people would hear the LORD speak unto Moses and believe him forever.
: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. 21 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish. 22 And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, sanctify
themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them. 23 And Moses said unto the LORD, The people cannot come up to mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it. 24 And the LORD said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the LORD, lest he break forth upon them. 25 So
Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them.”
“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.” The LORD descended to come to talk to Moses, while Moses ascended to talk with the LORD. The same principle applies to us today. The LORD descends with mercy and love and grace to communicate with his children
today. We have to go up to communicate with the LORD. Our prayers ascend unto God. He sends his answers down to us and his felt presence in our lives comes down to us. We serve a great and mighty God, who is much higher than we are: Is. 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish.” Now Moses had already charged the people, however, the LORD knows better what the mind of the people is and he knows the way of people is to be inquisitive, though they have been warned. Thus, the LORD told Moses to go
back down and charge the people again. This is very typical of us today as God’s children, that we have to be continually charged to do what is right and not to do what is wrong.
“And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them.” Now the people had sanctified themselves according to the command of the LORD, however, the priests had an additional sanctification which apparently they had not done. The LORD promised to break forth upon them if they did not do the
additional sanctification. This is similar situation to us as disciples or servants of the LORD. We may sanctify ourselves to live Godly, but have we set ourselves apart to serve and worship the LORD in the way he has commanded?
“And Moses said unto the LORD, The people cannot come up to mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it.” Now this is what Moses wanted to believe that the people would not break forth and they had made efforts to try to prevent their breaking forth. However, legislators make laws, and police try to enforce
those laws, yet people still violate those laws. Often, God’s people are like that too.
“And the LORD said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the LORD, lest he break forth upon them.” Thus, the LORD sent Moses down to once again warn the people and the priests not to break through to come up unto the LORD. Moreover, he
restricted on this occasion that only Moses and Aaron could come up unto the LORD.
“So Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them.” For most of Moses service unto the LORD after the LORD appeared to him in the wilderness, he was obedient to the commands of the LORD.