Bible Reference: Exodus 24:15-18
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)
Bible Text: 15 Then Moses climbed up the mountain, and the cloud covered it. 16 And the glory of the Lord settled down on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from inside the cloud. 17 To the Israelites at the foot of the mountain, the glory of the Lord appeared at the summit like a consuming fire. 18 Then Moses disappeared into the cloud as he climbed higher up the mountain. He remained on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
OBSERVATION: In our Scripture today, we will see more about the patient obedience of Moses, and we will have the opportunity to compare our patience, or lack thereof, with this holy man of God. This is an eye-opening experience for every child of God.
APPLICATION: Out of the 168 hours given to us every week, there are some who calculate carefully which one-hour period they will give to God. In other words, some will say that their one hour might be used for a church service, while others will say that because there is a monthly meeting at church that lasts an hour, there will be no church service for them that week. There are some who will attend a church service, but when that hour is up, they become very fidgety and start checking their watch every five minutes with hopes that the preacher sees that and gets the message that it’s time to quit. Friends, there are real life stories behind each of these scenarios, so please don’t assume for a minute that I’m exaggerating. Now I want you to read our Scripture verses again, then stop and meditate on the picture story conveyed in those words. Let’s then allow Moses to be our mentor and leader for a while this weekend, and let’s assume that you and I are two of the 70 elders mentioned in the accompanying story around these verses. Here’s what I believe our conversation might be: So Moses, I am fine in accompanying you on a trip up that mountain tomorrow, but how long will we be gone? You see, I have sheep that must be attended to and a sick child that my wife will be burdened with while I’m away. You see, I have important responsibilities. (Moses) – Son, my allegiance is to God. And as fellow Elders, we must obey the call of God. He said come, and I am merely following His command. There is no time limit, for our God may release us within a few hours, or it may take days. Regardless of our obligations here with our families, our lives are worth nothing without our God. It’s Him first, and then to follow in obedience as to what He tells us to do. Choose you this day whom you shall serve, young man. Friends, with these words on our mind, I believe that we will consider who our true Master is at all times, especially when it’s time to serve God, spend time with God, Worship God, or simply bask in His presence. Added to this, imagine Moses and the Elders waiting on the mountain day after day, and even after the 6th day – still nothing. No I didn’t say one hour, like we are more apt to commit to, nor did I say six hours, which may sound extreme to most of us. It wasn’t until the seventh day that the Lord called out to Moses from the cloud. But that’s not all, Moses then moves on up higher through the clouds and spends another 40 days up there with the Lord. Friends, what hit me hard here in this story, is that Moses was on God’s schedule, and not his own. Will the world continue on without you if God pulled you aside for about 50 days? You better believe it. You may feel like the shop won’t open tomorrow, or the kids won’t get to school, or the family will run out of money. Let me encourage you to get over yourself. The world will go on, your business will go on, and in your surrendered state before the Master of this universe, you will be blessed beyond all measure. Recognize that there is NOTHING more important than time with God. Recognize that your life is so complicated because you are so dependent on yourself and your capabilities. Let us STOP and get in tuned with the Master. He designed us, and this whole world in which we are a part. Don’t ever forget that HE has the power to do every little thing that we worry about, except our temptation to sin. God loves us from the very depths of His heart, and He will take care of us, and those things that we tend to worry about. So why not trust Him completely and wholeheartedly? Be willing to spend time with Him – any amount of time that He might demand. No time-limits, please?
PRAYER: They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall rise up with wings like eagles… Lord Jesus, please forgive us for trying to place You in the same category as our microwave, or our convection oven – instant results. How refreshing to be reminded of Moses, and the time that He spend waiting to hear from You, and then the time just basking at Your feet. Please revive Your church oh Lord – that’s us. For we need to be reminded of the importance of spending time with You without time limits. You alone are God, and we are Your masterpieces created to serve, worship and adore You. Please help us to always be reminded that the Master sets the time we are allowed to spend with Him, not the other way around. Oh that You might become so important in our lives that You will be our top priority. Please move in our hearts, draw us close to You, and use us to encourage others to do the same. AMEN!