Read Exodus Chapter 24. After you have read the chapter, read the passages below to help you dive deeper into the Chapter. Conclude in Prayer.
THE DIVINE COVENANT AND THE ROLE OF THE CONGREGATION
“In the previous chapters we see the incessant movement of God toward His people; He gave them Moses to rescue them, He moved Pharaoh’s heart, He made them cross the Red Sea, and put an end to their enemies (the devil and his hosts), He sustained them with the heavenly manna, and turned the bitterness of water into sweetness, etc. Now the congregation (the Church) is committed to move toward God with His support.” - Fr. Tadros Y. Malaty
“Although “Moses alone shall come near the Lord” (Ex. 24: 2), without the people, yet God instructed Moses to “come up to the Lord, he and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel” (Ex. 24:1). The Church knows no individualization, but the spiritual leadership, with all its various capabilities and capacities, should come together in one Spirit.” - Fr. Tadros Y. Malaty
“All should work together with one Spirit, even with the different gifts. No one should boast his gift over the others, or underestimate the talents that God gave him. Let him work, not with the Spirit of haughtiness, or with lowliness of soul.
"I wish we take all these things into consideration; not to envy or harbor grudge toward those with greater gifts; and at the same time, not to despise those with lesser ones." - CHRYSOSTOM
The role of the people: - "If Moses, being the leader of the people, Aaron, their High Priest, and his sons, together with 70 of their elders, went up, yet the Church life would never be set upon passive people. Thus, before Moses offers the burnt offerings and sacrifices to the Lord, and before he sprinkled the blood over the altar and the people, “he told them all the words and judgments of the Lord” (Ex. 24: 3), which they readily accepted. For the sake of the people, Moses came, and for their sake the priesthood was set. Therefore, they should have the first word in their relationship with God. In the Church, the congregation has a positive role. There is no secret liturgy, but the congregation openly partakes of the service with the priest. And just as the priest prays on behalf of the congregation, the deacon asks them to pray for the Patriarch and all the clergy, and the congregation are committed to testify and preach the gospel, being the message of Christ, read by all the people.” - Fr. Tadros Y. Malaty
“The Church work could not be offered, except through sacrificing and sacrifice, that is why “Moses rose early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel” (Ex. 24: 4). As these tribes could not exist except through the altar, and could not be sanctified except by sprinkling half the blood on the altar, and the other half on the people. Through the blood of the true sacrifice, that of the Lord Christ, the people would enter into the Holy of Holies; and as the apostle Paul says, “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is His flesh; and having a High Priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrew 10:19-21).” - Fr. Tadros Y. Malaty
“Then he sent young men of the children of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the Lord” (Ex. 24: 5).
The role of the young men is not just to listen and obey, but they carry on an essential role in the life of the Church. God requests from you, in the days of your youth, offerings of love and peace; saying, “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth” (Eccl12: 1).”
Connecting heavenly life to contemporary actuality: They saw the God of Israel, and there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity” (Ex. 24: 10).
"It is as though God wants all ministers of God, working in the Church, to carry His heavenly nature and His heavenly thoughts, yet without disregarding their physical existence, and the needs of their bodies. As the Scripture says: “They saw God and they ate and drank” (Ex. 24: 11).” - Fr. Tadros Y. Malaty
TO HAVE GOD AS A FRIEND - "If anyone therefore desires to behold this image of God, he must love God so as to be loved by him, no longer as a servant but as a friend who observes his commandments, that he may enter the cloud where God is.” - AMBROSE
“Moses himself was so purified and freed from his body by a fast of forty days that his whole self took on a glorious appearance of divinity. Still in the darkness of our body, he gleamed with the full radiance of divinity. The eyes of mortals could not gaze upon him who, long nourished by the substance of God, had forgotten all about the aids provided by mortals‘ food. From this he learned that the sustenance of life does not fail those who live in God‘s sight and with him.
THE REWARDS OF FASTING - "Do you now recognize the harm caused by intemperance? Look in turn at the instances of good behavior due to fasting. The great Moses, after keeping his fast for forty days, was able to get the tables of the law. When he came down from the mountain and saw the people‘s sin, the tablets which he had been successful in obtaining through such intercession he threw down and smashed, thinking it was preposterous that an indulgent and sinful people should receive laws of the Lord‘s own making.” - CHRYSOSTOM
Heavenly Father, as we behold Moses on the mountain spending forty days and forty nights prior to coming down to Your people with Your Word, we too Lord seek to spend this fast of advent fasting and praying, encountering you face to face, contemplating your glory, and living according to your law and commandments, awaiting Your Word to come down to His people again. Lord, give us the heart of Moses that was so sweet to you you desired to be in fellowship with Him, face to face for fourty days and nights. Lord, as Moses subsisted during this time on You alone, teach us O Lord that You are the Bread of Life and the Living Water, and we have no need to eat or drink of anything other than you! Let us O God not be satisfied to sit at the bottom of the mountain, but give us the heart of Joshua, who followed his Master Moses, as far as He was allowed to go, so that He could try to catch a glimpse of You. Let us not miss out on meeting You at the mountain, as You have come down to us and have called us to You to be forever with You. Let us truly say with faithful hearts that do not turn from You, "All that the Lord has said, we will do, and be obedient." Amen.
Posted on Wed, December 28, 2016
by Mathew Shehata