Peter Misselbrook's Blog
Aug 18 2011 - E100.21b – Exodus 19:9-25, Mount Sinai

God had brought the Israelites to Mount Sinai to meet with him. But the people have to keep their distance. The mountain shook and trembled and was covered with thick cloud as God came down with thunder, lightening and fire. It must have been a terrifying sight. The people are warned not to go near the mountain or they will die. Only Moses and Aaron are permitted to go up the mountain to meet with God.

The writer of the letter to the Hebrews reflects on this terrifying scene. He insists that we have come to meet with the same God, "our God is a consuming fire" (Hebrews 12:29). But he also speaks of the great contrast between Sinai and the New Covenant.

You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm... The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”

But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. (Hebrews 12:18, 21-24)

The Lord Jesus has provided the perfect sacrifice for sin. Through his shed blood and his risen presence at the Father's right hand he has become the mediator of the new and better covenant. He has brought us into the very presence of God – anticipating that last day when God shall again come down in power to dwell among his people for all eternity. We are not required to stand at a distance; we have been brought near. God has come down to live among us. What a tremendous privilege! What a great salvation!

Holy God, help me to understand what it means that I have been brought into your presence through the Lord Jesus Christ. You are the same holy God; you have not been tamed. You are a God of burning holiness; you are a consuming fire. And yet I can stand in your presence because Christ has died and Christ is risen. He leads me into your presence and you delight in me because you delight in your Son. I worship you. Help me to live in your presence and to invite those who are still far off to come to you through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Peter Misselbrook