God who descended to the top of Mount Sinai

Posted by admin on 15 September 2019 in Exodus, Matthew |

Exodus 19:1-25

Adam and his wife freely talked with God face-to-face in Genesis 2 and 3. But the situation has been changed since the fall (Genesis 3). But, in Exodus 19, God descended to the top of Mount Sinai!! This is the chapter we can read the details!!

In Exodus 19, they came to the Desert of Sinai exactly 3 months after they left Egypt (1). 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: “You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 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, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.’ (3b ~ 6)

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. The people all responded together, ‘We will do everything the LORD has said’. So, Moses brought their answer back to the LORD. (7 – 8)

See v9.

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.

The LORD said to Moses to consecrate them today and tomorrow, make them wash their clothes, and the LORD would come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people and they are not to approach the mountain or touch the foot of it. God said, “Whoever touches the mountain is to be put to death.” (10 – 12)

Moses had gone down the mountain to the people and consecrated them and they washed their clothes (14). In v15, Moses said,

‘Prepare yourselves for the third day. Abstain from sexual relations.’

In Leviticus 15:16-18, the Law of God teaches us ‘uncleanness’ till `evening’ due to ejection of semen. In addition, it is required to wash the whole body with water:

16 “ ‘Suppose semen flows from a man’s body. Then he must wash his whole body with water. He will be “unclean” until evening. 17 Suppose clothes or leather have semen on them. Then they must be washed with water. They will be “unclean” until evening. 18 Suppose a man sleeps with a woman. And suppose semen flows from his body and touches both of them. Then they must take a bath. They will be “unclean” until evening.

From v16, we can read the amazing event. The meeting of people of Israel and God!

There was thunder and lightning with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. (16)

See v17-19.

17 Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently. 19 As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.

The LORD descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain (20) and the LORD said again to him to warn the people:

‘Go down and warn the people so they do not force their way through to see the Lord and many of them perish. 22 Even the priests, who approach the Lord, must consecrate themselves, or the Lord will break out against them.’ (21 ~ 22)

Moses indicated that he ensured it (23).

In v24, the LORD asked Moses to bring Aaron up with him, and He warned again.

But the priests and the people must not force their way through to come up to the Lord, or he will break out against them.’ (24b)

So, Moses went down to the people and told them (25)

In this chapter, we see that God didn’t allow others to come to Him and differentiated Moses and also Aaron. God repeated the similar warning (not to approach the  mountain, not to force their way to see Him, not to come up to Him) for the people including priests. And God talked to them through Moses. God showed them God speaking with Moses so that people would always put their trust in Moses (9, 19).

As shown in this chapter, people couldn’t even touch the mountain the top of which God descended on (12, 13). They can’t approach or see God.

Thanks to Jesus, the Son of God, who died on the cross for our Sins, the way to God has opened up. The moment Jesus died on the cross the curtain in the Temple between the holy place and the most holy place was torn in two from top to bottom.

See Matthew 27:50-51.

50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split

Thank you God for sending Jesus to forgive our Sins and open the way to You.


[1] The Holy Bible: New International Version (Anglicised Edition, 2011). (2011). (Revised and updated edition). London: Hodder & Stoughton.

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