The People Agree to Obey God

We can live only in relationships. We need each other. A rather crude and cruel experiment was carried out by Emperor Frederick, who ruled the Roman Empire in the thirteenth century. He wanted to know what man’s original language was: Hebrew, Greek, or Latin. He decided to isolat … More


This chapter is one of the most fascinating passages in the Old Testament as it records one of the most significant and solemn events. It is at Mt. Sinai, in the 24th chapter of Exodus, that the Mosaic Covenant is ratified. This ratification is the key to understanding the remainder of the book.

  1. The players (vv. 1-2) - The Lord speaking to Moses, instructs he, Aaron, Nadir, Abihu and the 70 elders to come up the mountain to him. All of these are told to worship “at a distance” except Moses who is told to proceed further up the mountain and “come near.”
  2. Distant from the Lord (vv. 3-8) - The people relate to the Lord, but their relationship is somewhat distant. The Lord does not speak directly to the people; he speaks to Moses who in turn “recounts” God’s words to the people (vv. 3,4,7). When the people answer the Lord, they don’t speak to him directly but to Moses.
  3. Closer to the Lord (vv. 9-11) - Although the people must stay below, the leaders are called to come closer to the Lord. They don’t see God Himself, for God is spirit and no one can see him (John 1:18). What they do see is a vision of God. They were able to see the pavement of sapphire under God’ feet,
  4. Near to the Lord (vv. 12-18) - The Lord, then asks Moses to come up to the next level. This is a personal, intimate relationship. The Lord plans to share His heart with Moses and then give him stone tablets upon which he has written the Ten Commandments.


At the time of this writing you had to be a priest or elder to come one step up the mountain. Jesus death on the cross makes it possible for me to take that step in a personal relationship with the Lord.

Exodus 24:1-11 (English Standard Version)

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