Exodus 19 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“The Lord directed Moses, ‘Go down and warn the people not to break through to see the L_rd; otherwise, many of them will die. Even the priests who come near the L_rd must purify themselves, or the L_rd will break out against them.’ But Moses responded to the L_rd, ‘The people cannot come up Mount Sinai since you warned us: Put a boundary around the mountain and consider it holy.’” Exodus 19:21-23
Several months after their exodus from Egypt, Moses was obviously frustrated with the children of Israel. Bellyaching had replaced appreciation as the national demeanor of G_d’s people. It is easy to be frustrated with complaining people; they compromise the bulk of a pastor’s ministry burden. The Bible calls us “sheep”, and we are all created with an acute need for a shepherd.
At this point in the exodus, though, Moses seems frustrated with G_d as much as he did with the people. The source of his frustration, perhaps, concerned a promise G_d made when He called Moses to lead Israel.
“But Moses asked G_d, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt? G_d answered, ‘I will certainly be with you, and this will be the sign to you that I have sent you: when you bring the people out of Egypt, you will all worship G_d at this mountain.’” Exodus 3:11-12
Moses had done all G_d had told him to do. He went to Egypt, spoke to Israel, spoke to Pharaoh, obeyed the L_rd, led Israel out… In Moses’ heart, he must have felt he held-up his end of the bargain. Now, at what he thought was the end, Moses was ready to see the completion of his calling. The people were standing at the foot of the mountain. All Moses needed to see was for Israel to worship on that mountain, for his season of shepherding to be completed. But G_d withheld Israel from coming up the mountain!
Why would G_d withhold the fulfillment of His promise to Moses? More so, why would He deny Israel the freedom to worship in His presence?
Worship is a matter of the heart, and Israel’s heart was not ready. Nor was Moses’ heart. Much of what men would let pass for worship, the L_rd literally cannot stand!
Has the L_rd withheld something from you, lately? Trust that His judgment & timing are completely aligned with His perfect plan & character. Wait on the L_rd’s timing. Who knows what the World would be like today, had Israel waited on the Lord until Moses returned from the mountain, bearing the tablets of the 10 Commandments?
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Thursday, March 20, 2014