Exodus 24:10-11… “And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink” (KJV).
I heard a word in my spirit that said, “Reprint ‘They Feared the Fire.'” What an experience. They saw God and did eat and drink! Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Joshua and seventy elders. The sapphire stone is symbolic of the clearness of God’s government. It was transparent; light could pass through (Ezekiel 1:26, 10:1). Nothing is hidden from God. God is very attentive in what He has to do and is doing. He sees everything clearly. After this experience, Moses is asked to come up higher. There on the Mount, Moses was given the tablets of the Law and was commanded to teach them to the people. Joshua went up closer also, and the elders were told to tarry until Moses returned. Aaron and Hur were left in charge, and what a mess they made. They feared the fire and made an image of God after the ways of Egypt (the world).
Exodus 24:15-18 tells us that Moses went up into the cloud, into the glory, into God’s presence. Moses was there six days before God even spoke. The children of Israel could see the cloud and the glory and the fire from down below. For the next forty days Moses received a course in the design and construction of the tabernacle. Those forty days are covered in Exodus 24-31. Meanwhile, in the camp at the foot of the mountain, a different god was being fashioned. When God’s presence is not in the church, the people will influence the leaders to do stupid religious things. They will produce what is very much against the heart of God. Exodus 32:7 uses the words “corrupted themselves” (NKJV). They had church at the foot of the mountain and began to decay spiritually. (Just like a lot of present-day churches, holding worship services though God isn’t even there.) Have you ever wondered how the anointed could do stupid things after seeing God and feasting and fellowshipping with Him? Follow on now into Exodus 32…
Exodus 32:1-6… “And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD. And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play” (KJV). When Moses took his time in God’s presence, the people persuaded Aaron to make them a god. The next day, they ate and drank and danced and feasted. Aaron took part in making the idol. He never even protested the making of an idol; neither did the seventy elders. Later, Aaron told Moses, “So they gave [the gold] to me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf” (v. 24, KJV). That was either a miracle, or Aaron won first prize in a liar’s contest! Aaron lied–he fashioned the idol. Aaron’s image of God was fashioned by the desire of the people around him, the people that were familiar with the society they came out of. Aaron did not know God intimately (nor do many pastors today). Aaron feared the fire. The image of God that the church is presenting today is one that they have made. It is shaped by the society around them and not in the image of God. The people want an image of God that they are comfortable with. They worship God with their mouths, but they fear His presence. The fear of God is taught by the precept of men and not by His presence (Isaiah 29:13).
In Exodus 32:7-14, God became very angry and told Moses that the people had corrupted themselves. He was ready to form a new people out of the line of Moses. Moses knew enough not to usurp the place given to Abraham and pleaded with God not to destroy them. Moses then came down the mountain, very angry. He cast down the tables of the Law and confronted Aaron. Three thousand were killed because of this sin. Now, let’s move forty years later to Deuteronomy 5. Moses reveals what happened.
(To be continued…)
Pastor George Belobaba
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