by Christina Farris
1 In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.
2 For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.
3 And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;
4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.
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.
9 And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD.
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.
12 And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death:
13 There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.
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.
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.
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. Have you ever seen a volcano? I have not, but I seen picture of volcanoes. Heard about the roar of the volcano and the trumpet sound or blast from a volcano before erruption or fire comes forth. It be like a huge flute or wood wind instrument on top of a cave where the sound comes out of the hole at the top if one thinks on it long enough. We assume the people of God were fearful unexplained events to them, but I think this is not the issue here. For children I do not doubt the older folks were having a little fun at their expense, but did God speak to Moses on Mount Sinai that would be the bigger question.
I been in several areas of Virginia where the water does not look dangerous, but if you know what makes these rivers dangerous is not their appearance but the under tow of the river current that can take a strong man under and not allow him to come back up to the surface of the water to breath. Warnings about these rivers are usually not only posted but told about on the news on tv and papers warning when it hot go swimming but don't be over adventures in areas of warning, because of the death toll of those that swam in those areas. However despite the warning some never see the sign or hear the news and more die. Those that know might think that it is a myth. If I go to the water edge and God lays a message on it while at this dangerous spot would I be not a Moses upon a volcano. Not likely, only someone that failed to have a volcano erruption to back the experience of the moment.
Some Scientist believe the volcano may be the fire at night and cloud by day Moses was being guided to as far as traveling to the Promise Land. If this be the case the information of God protection would only be covered by dust cloud during the day that went behind Israel as they travel out of the promise land toward this mountain of fire. Question still lies did God speak to Moses on Mount Sinai. God told Moses to go down the mount and sanctify the people. Perhaps to prepare them for death or for a new life.
Sanctify had to do with a new begining. Purging the old sin or filth from the soul and not just the clothes and outwear. There was a line drawn of how far Israel themselves could go up the mountain, anyone going past the point would be killed, even if it was animal. Did this have to do with the volcanic ash upon the mountain, was Moses warned by God to come down to cleanse the people because of the ash to get off the mountain. Was this something he would of known to do, or just common sense when seeing the effects of debrie of ash off the mountain.
I do not know about the volcano but yeah it may of been used for a little black magic to scare the people but they would of had a reason to be scared if they knew about volcanoes or had heard about them. Moses would come back with the laws to follow and obey when he came off that mountain and he would read these laws and God would speak to the people. The question did they believe the volcano was the voice of God or did God manifest himself in this location to the people. Lord told Moses these people would be a peculair people if they obeyed his voice. God mentions how he brought them out of Egypt on Eagle wings. Now we know Eagles did not literal pick up Israel and carry them forth to where they were now. Yet he explaining the physicl strength of the flight out of Egypt and how Israel had reached this point, before Mount Sinai.
Did God speak to Moses at Mount Sinai, the people were allowed to hear the voice of God just like any spectacle nature event, people pure curiousity would cause them to hope to see the top of the volcano. But did God speak to Moses. He was leading these people and the word of Lord came to him to sanctify the people. Yet the people in the next chapter will tell Moses to be the intercessor between them and Lord. Yet the commandments of God seem just that Moses present to the people.
I live in area that has a place called the back of the dragon. I have no clue why it has that name, but I suspect at one time it was a treachous road to travel. Folklore and truth often run together. To define the truth might be best decided from the word of God or voice of God and the reaction of the people that heard both. Moses had allowed thick smoke to cover the people that went up part of the mountain, yet ash would of also been all over their clothes so the need to wash would of been necessary.
Sacrific was to be done with a lamb and so forth, not by putting your kids through the fire as some culture in the land they were entering would be doing. Sacrifice their children to the volcano god, and not the God of Israel. Did God speak to Moses concerning laws and rules and reason not to go passed a certain point. The story taking on new life when we realize God can speak past the confusion of a volcanic sounds coming forth. The timing perfect by God to demonstrate his destructive power and yet his mercy as demonstrating his ability to speak in the noise of confusion.
People celebrate many stories and traditions without thought to why these traditions were developed or where they come from. Even around St Patrick's Day, Easter and Christmas many myth surroung the holiday. It perhaps demonstrates something else in our life the need for that bling in our wedding garment of white, that has no value, but to be cleansed from the robe of whiteness of Christ's bride, symbolizing her cleansing and no need of bling of the world.
Perhaps if we look at the volcano and the dust on the clothes and sanctification because a spiritual analogy of faith long before Christ came, or before Israel reach the promise land. Jethro Moses father in law the one that help Moses see the need for judges among the tribe of Israel, may of been the one that walked up that mountain teaching Moses about that volcano and not to allow the children Of Israel to come up but to a certain point.
The question is was God with Moses and was his father in law talking to Moses concerning things that were beneficial to the tribe of Israel. Aaron and priesthood came up with Moses as well. Thoughts disorganized but it has a purpose this morning. What is that purpose perhaps, breaking down the story, of it sounded like the what they suppose the voice of God sounded like and the actually voice of God with an actual voice became a descriptive part of the tale of Israel.
When the thundred outside before a rain we might say God and his angels are bowling, or turned over a potato wagon. Noone thinking much beyond this point, but the point being we often use description to describe events as if it is something and it is probably not. Yet we see something else the confusion of St, Nick, the easter bunny and Lepracauns searching for gold all have a reality not understood as time goes on. Ancient world fast leaving the myths for children and the truth of God's word to the ancients not understand the reality of God and his protection even in the reading of the ancients in understanding the anger of the volcanic activity. Yet what the people would understand when one looks at chapter 20 of Exodus was the fear of God because of the events in Egypt that they needed protection from God and needed an intercessor. The intercessor was the word of God that came from God but God used a spokesman name Moses to declare it and to be ambassador for him. One day God would send his Son to be the spokesman to the people, who were in fear of him, and yet did their best to honor his word, yet they lived in fear of coming to God themselves, because of the voice of God.
God's voice convience Abraham to go to the promise land, warned Noah to build an ark because of a flood, and God's voice would direct Moses throughout his journey in the wilderness witht he people of Israel. God's voice will tell his Son it time for his children to come home to the place he has prepared for them.
God voice sounds like many waters, a volcano, thunder and even in a still quiet voice that speaks only to the soul of man. Yet is God's voice any of these actually things, the answer is no. Yet God's voice is clear to the believer and to those that will heed God's voice and commands. Next time you hear the myths on tv about scripture ask yourself did God speak to his people and not oh that how that done, I am in the book called the wizard of oz and on Gilland Island of unbelief. Scripture says to be still and to know he is God. Sometimes what we need to do is be still and take time to listen to what God speaks to the inner heart. Open the door to God, His intercessor Jesus and His Spirit. Listen to what he might or shall speak to your heart about today.
Dear Heavenly Father let us not believe the deceptions of nation or witchcraft but the truth of your still small voice. In Jesus precious name, Amen.
Continual Scripture Study:1 Kings 19:11-13 KJV
11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:
12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?