Then the LORD said to Moses, "Come up to Me on the mountain and stay here, so that I may give you the tablets of stone, with the law and commandments I have written for their instruction."
1. He alone ascends (ver. 12). Aaron and his sons, with the seventy elders, were left behind. Their privilege was great as compared with that of the body of the people. Yet even they are not permitted to enter the cloud - to draw nigh into God's immediate presence. The limitations and imperfections of the legal economy are stamped on these arrangements. How superior the standing of Christians, who are all permitted to draw nigh; who have now the privilege, formerly possessed only by Moses, of beholding with unveiled flee the Divine glory in the ecstasy of immediate vision (2 Corinthians 3:18).
2. The design of this ascending was primarily to receive the stone tables (ver. 12). These were to be written by God's own finger. God took every pains to impress upon the minds of the people that the law they had to deal with was his law. Its perpetuity was symbolised by the rock tablets.
3. Moses made arrangements for the conduct of business in his absence (ver. 14). His absence would be a trial of the faith and disposition of all parties.
4. The fire still burned on the summit of the mount (vers. 16, 17). This, notwithstanding the vision of ver. 10. The economy was outwardly and characteristically one of law; interiorly, one of grace. Even Moses had to wait seven days for the summons (ver. 16). - J.O.
I. That communion with God is NECESSARY.
Come up to Me into the mount.I. EACH ONE HAS HIS OWN POSITION TO OCCUPY.
II. EACH MAN HAS HIS OWN DIVINE VISION. To-day we may experience Divine chidings, and to-morrow we may be on the Mount of Beatitude.
III. BUT THERE ARE SPECIALITIES OF WORK.
IV. THEREFORE THERE MUST BE SPECIALITY IN THE PREPARATIONS. Learn to be much in the right, much in prayer, much in mountain solitude; but much also with the people. Let waiting and working go hand in hand. Above all things, obey the Divine voice.
(W. Burrows, B. A.)
1. For religious teachers.
2. For those engaged in business.
3. For parents, etc.
II. That SPECIAL PLACES are appointed for communion with God.
1. House of God.
2. Privacy of own chamber.
III. That PREPARATION should be made for communion with God (ver. 14; see Matthew 6:6).
1. Guard against interruptions from without.
2. Drive away worldly and anxious thoughts within.
IV. That communion with God should be most frequently ALONE.
1. Presence of others may distract mind or embarrass thoughts.
2. Presence of others may divert attention from personal concerns of soul.
3. Private sins and wants to be laid bare.
V. That in communion with God, THE PRESENCE OF OTHERS IS SOMETIMES HELPFUL AND EVEN NECESSARY. Family worship — prayer meetings — for those who have common wants, interests, etc.
VI. That communion with God is THE CONDITION UPON WHICH MAN MAY WITNESS THE DIVINE GLORY (vers. 16, 17; see Isaiah 6.)
VII. That communion with God MAY RE PROTRACTED, and man must not weary of it.
VIII. That among the purposes of communion with God, are RECOGNITION OF THE DIVINE AUTHORITY AND PREPARATION FOR FUTURE WORK.
(J. W. Burn.)
(A. J. Gordon.)
1. Spiritual endowment is always the measure of success in work for Christ. Preachers fail and teachers fail because they are so little on the mount with God.
2. The want of Christian workers everywhere is revelation of the Divine glory. From this, power springs. God can use us only as we become equipped by vision of, and communion with, Him. We can tell only as we know. We know only as we are taught of God. Have we been on the mount, under the cloud? Have we seen the glory and heard the voice? What is our message from God to men?
(J. E. Twitchell.).
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