The LORD also said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments; and let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, ‘Beware that you do not go up on the mountain or touch the border of it; whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. No hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or shot through; whether beast or man, he shall not live.’ When the ram’s horn sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain.” (Exodus 19:10-13)
In part one, we learned about God’s holiness, might and power. By His mere presence, the earth trembled. When the Lord descended, the people shook in fear as they saw bright lightning flashes and heard the powerful sound of thunder and of a trumpet (Exodus 19:16). As a nation, Israel, for the first time, witnessed the coming of their God and Redeemer.
Prior to God descending to Mt. Sinai, note how He instructed Moses about what the people should do (Exodus 19:10-13). The Lord commanded the people to wash their garments; and, for husbands to refrain from marital intimacy with their wives (Exodus 19:14, 15). God is holy. His holiness demands purity from His people both inside and out.
God’s holiness requires that when Israel as a nation comes to meet Him, Israel should come in His terms, not theirs. The author of Hebrews said, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). How interesting it is that in our pluralistic society, people believe in the notion that they can come to God in their own terms and in their own way. No wonder Cain’s offering was not accepted (Genesis 4:4-5; Hebrews 11:4).
My friend, I urge you to come to the Lord on His terms, not yours. Cease from thinking that your way is right. Place your trust in the Lord who alone can save you from eternal punishment (Proverbs 14:12; 21:2; Romans 10:9-13). Jesus plainly said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Those who have ears, let them hear what God’s word says (Matthew 11:15).