Laundry Day for A Million People

10 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes 11 and be ready by the third day, because on that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, ‘Be careful that you do not approach the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain is to be put to death. 13 They are to be stoned or shot with arrows; not a hand is to be laid on them. No person or animal shall be permitted to live.’ Only when the ram’s horn sounds a long blast may they approach the mountain.”

14 After Moses had gone down the mountain to the people, he consecrated them, and they washed their clothes. 15 Then he said to the people, “Prepare yourselves for the third day. Abstain from sexual relations.” Exodus 19:10-15

The Lord instructed the people to be clean inside and out. It would take that huge group of people two days to accomplish.

Yes, they were cleansing their outer garments, but they were also preparing their inner beings as well. They were about to go through an event that would change their lives, and change history – though I’m sure they had absolutely no idea about the latter.

Do we realize the absolute privilege we have as Believers that we can not only approach the mountain, but we can go up and be one-on-one with our Creator? Not just on special days, but every day.

Forgive us, Lord for taking that privilege for granted.

Forgive us for being so lax and complacent regarding the holy things of God!

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Moses and A Million of His Closest Friends

7 So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the Lord had commanded him to speak. 8 The people all responded together, “We will do everything the Lord has said.” So Moses brought their answer back to the Lord.

9 The Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you.” Then Moses told the Lord what the people had said. Exodus 19:7-9

The Lord put a lot of trust in Moses when he was on the mountain. In fact, the Lord was building up Moses so that the people would trust him when he spoke to them. Moses was to be their messenger. Of course we’ve known that already, but God made it a point to showcase Moses as the spokesperson.

We are not entrusted to the extent Moses was, but God does entrusts us with our circle of friends and family. We can influence them like no other person in the world can. That, too, isn’t a secret to us, but it helps to be reminded of such trust.

Does that thought encourage you or overwhelm you? It encourages me because I realize I don’t have to “change” or “save” the whole world. The whole world is not my mission field.

My barbershop chorus and my co-workers are my mission field.

What’s yours?

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The Lord to Moses: Remember Who Brought You To The Dance!

4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.” Exodus 19:4-6

The Lord reminded Moses how he and the Israelites got where they were, an exodus that occurred more than two months prior.

You may think that Moses would be a fool to forget so easily all the Lord’s accomplishments thus far. At this point in the journey, Moses was up to his ears in settling disputes, assuaging their complaints, feeding the masses, and just getting them moving.

In other words, he had day-to-day life to content with.

He needed to be reminded about the important aspects of the trip.

See any similarities to our life?

We need to be reminded as often as he did about the Lord’s great and mighty works in our lives.

Sure, we could remember, but like Moses, we don’t.

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Get Used to This View of Mt. Sinai, Folks, You’ll See it a Lot

On the first day of the third month after the Israelites left Egypt—on that very day—they came to the Desert of Sinai. 2 After they set out from Rephidim, they entered the Desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert in front of the mountain.

3 Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: Exodus 19:1-3

The Israelites would get to know Mt. Sinai very well over the next forty years as they passed by it for yet another lap. It would, however, be the mountain that Jews around the world would know because of the giving of the ten commandments.

The loves of Israelites is about to change again, and the man who was at the forefront of the previous change (leaving Egypt) just went up to talk to God. You can just hear the chatter as they see their leader hike up the side of the mountain. Chatter, gossip, rumors, mumbles, and sighs of admiration. They were probably asking among themselves what God actually sounds like and how long Moses would be there. And of course, what’s it like to be in Moses’ sandals when he’s speaking with their Creator?

Over the next few days we’ll see and “hear” what happened to Moses on that mountain. It’s transformative and instructive to us even today because we realize that just as Moses spoke directly with God, so can we.

What does He actually say to our Spirit? That’s the important question.

How does He encourage us?

How does He lead us?

What is He saying to us today?

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How a Father-in-Law Got it Right!

13 The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. 14 When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?”

15 Moses answered him, “Because the people come to me to seek God’s will. 16 Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and instructions.”

17 Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. 18 You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. 19 Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. 20 Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. 21 But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 22 Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. 23 If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.”

24 Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. 25 He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 26 They served as judges for the people at all times. The difficult cases they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves.

27 Then Moses sent his father-in-law on his way, and Jethro returned to his own country. Exodus 18:13-27

We don’t know much about Jethro but he did give Moses sound advice about avoiding burnout. In fact, it’s probably where the American justice system originated. While we don’t have judges for ten people, the idea remains the same. The tougher cases – or cases where people don’t feel they’ve received justice – get escalated upwards.

A number of years ago, I was speaking with a pastor who had interviewed someone from South America who was in the United States for the first time. He asked him what the main differences from where he came from with the United States.

“Due process” was his answer.

In his country, someone could be held for years without a trial or even hope of a trial. It was a system of kickbacks, bribes, and corrupt bureaucrats. To be sure, we have all of that corruption here, but normally you can do something about it. You can appeal court decisions. Lawyers are appointed if you cannot afford one. You will have your day in court to prove your innocence.

Yes, many rich and powerful seem like they can walk if they hire the best attorneys.

But at the end of the day, true justice will be served, if not here, in another world and with an infinitely much just judge.

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