Then he said to Moses, “Come up to the LORD, you and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship at a distance. Moses alone shall come near the LORD; but the others shall not come near, and the people shall not come up with him.” Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice, and said, “All the words that the LORD has spoken we will do.” And Moses wrote down all the words of the LORD. He rose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and set up twelve pillars, corresponding to the twelve tribes of Israel. He sent young men of the people of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed oxen as offerings of well-being to the LORD. Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he dashed against the altar. Then he took the book of the covenant, and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” Moses took the blood and dashed it on the people, and said, “See the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words.” Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, and they saw the God of Israel. Under his feet there was something like a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. God did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; also they beheld God, and they ate and drank. (Exodus 24:1-11, NRSV)
I find it interesting the last part of this reading. We have God telling Moses to come up the mountain with 73 elders to worship at a distance. So Moses tells the people what God has said, builds an altar, does a sacrifice and dashes the blood on the altar, and then Moses and the 73 went up to be with God, and they saw the God of Israel!
And God did not lay a hand on them. And this is the part of the reading that gets me because it is so nonchalant, “also they beheld God, and they ate and drank.”
It’s kind of like in casual conversation, “oh yea, I went up the mountain the other day and I saw God, and we like had a meal together, you know.”
Also they beheld God! No one can see God, that is why the angels in Isaiah cover their faces, not even the angels can see God!
Maybe they just saw His feet, but still, they make it seem like such a small thing!
We need to live into the moments that should take our breath away and this is one of them.
Do not downplay the role God has in your life! Shout it from everywhere you are!