"LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, And works righteousness, And speaks the truth in his heart." Psalm 15:1-2
Text: Exodus 19 : 12-15
NECESSARY UNDERSTANDING AND PREPARATION
How does one prepare himself for a visit from God? To avoid any mishap, God gave Moses very clear and explicit explanations concerning how the children of Israel were to prepare themselves to meet with the Lord.
“You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying,
‘Take heed to yourselves that you do not go up to the mountain
or touch its base. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely
be put to death. Not a hand shall touch him, but he shall be surely
be stoned or shot with an arrow; whether man or beast,
he shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds long, they shall
come near the mountain.”
1. “You shall set bounds for the people all around”
No one was allowed to climb up the mountain. In fact no one was to even touch its base! The entire mountain would become “holy ground” when God comes down to meet with His people! Israel must keep a respectful distance!
2. “Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death”
This severe penalty was added for good measure! It carries with it an important implication. Moses would have to order Joshua to position his men to perform crowd control duties. They would even be armed with slingshot (“stones”) as well as “bow and arrows”. They would be allowed to shoot defiant person determined to act contrary to God’s specific command! Animals were to be restrained from wandering around. Their owners must make sure that their animals do not roam about unrestrained. The guards were given permission to put down both man and beast if they carelessly wandered around! No excuse would be permitted because clear warning had been given!
3. “When the trumpet sounds long, they shall come near the mountain”
This text does not make it clear whether the angels of God themselves would blow them, or whether Moses would have to organize this. The sound of the trumpets was the signal to march towards Mount Sinai.
ADDED FOR GOOD MEASURE
Moses was most serious about carrying out this command from the Lord. Swiftly he descended the mountain to help Israel to prepare to meet the Lord!
“So Moses went down from the mountain to the people
and sanctified the people, and they washed their clothes.
And he said to the people, ‘Be ready for the third day;
do not come near your wives.'”
Such must be the concentration on consecration, that abstinence was enjoined!