Exodus 24

  1. Before Moses went up to meet the Lord (24:1-3, 9-11), he built an altar at the foot of the mountain, offering the appropriate sacrifices, and symbolically sanctifying the people with blood of the covenant sprinkled on them (24:4-8). The Chumash contends that Moses did all this before the receiving of the ten commandments, since he was up on the mountain for forty days and nights (p. 440).
  2. In any case, on this occasion it was a time of joy and amazement (24:9-11); that any man could see the Lord (or any “part” of Him) and live is remarkable – but they did (cf. the LXX). The occasion brought more than joy, however; it brought solemnity (24:12-18). “The purpose for Moses’ trip up the mountain on this occasion was to receive the Law written by God Himself on stone tablets” (Roper, emphasis his, p. 407).
  3. Application: When in the presence of God there should be much reverence, but there should also be joy. There should be joy because the Lord has allowed – invited (in fact) – us to be in His presence. This is not afforded to anyone who serves an idol; to be in the presence of an idol one must fabricate an object and give it a pretend “power” in order to sustain a continuance of worship. With the Christian, the Lord has provided a “meal’ where we can sit down eat and drink.