Beholding God At The Dinner Table

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Exodus 24:9-11 Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank.

For at least forty years now the Lord has been leading the people of Israel in the wilderness. Many times Moses, the man of God, heads either towards the tabernacle, or up some mountain to speak with God. The people are never allowed to join the meeting but rather told they will be burned up and consumed if they try. This day is different. This day the Lord renews the covenant he made with his people, he gives them many rules to guide them, Moses offers a sacrifice and then throws the blood all over the people. The people declare they will obey all of the laws the Lord has given.

Seventy-four men march up the mountain to behold the Lord. When they arrive it appears there is a feast prepared and they get to see the God of Israel, his feet, and the pavement of sapphire stone below him. What a sight. What an honor to glimpse their creator, to glimpse the one who delivered them out of Egypt, and who has himself led them theses past forty years. Today they beheld God, and ate and drank.

I wonder what kind of conversations the seventy-four men were having. I wonder if they were quiet and just observed. I wonder if after a bit of quietness, they began to talk until a noise or movement came from the direction of God, and then they hushed, held their breath and waited for judgement; waited for the hammer to come down. Were they relaxed? Was it like being at a lively feast at the time of Jesus?

What is your dinner table like? When your kids are gathered around the table as you sit in your slippers and linoleum floor, are they enjoying the feast like the time of Jesus, or are they on edge thinking the least amount of cutting up will send the flame of death across the room to consume them? I am reminded by this about the power of our tongues. James tells us

So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. -James 3:5-6

I think kids love to be with their dad. I think they and would welcome a festive dinner experience every night where the only fire in the room was to both give light, and to purify the tongue so that edification happened every night around the table. To behold a dad who edifies, is to get a glimpse of a God who sits on Sapphire.

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