Exodus 24:11 (HCSB)
11 God did not harm the Israelite nobles; they saw Him, and they ate and drank.
This passage describes a beautiful experience between God and the elders and leaders of Israel. The people of Israel have verbally and publicly committed to following God (Exodus 24:3, 7). Now this representative group of about 75 men are called to approach God. They obey, and they stand in the presence, albeit an apparent “limited” presence, of God.
There is a sacrifice prior to this trip, and that is important to note. This translation calls it a “fellowship” offering, others call it a “peace” offering. The purpose of it was to strengthen the relationship between man and God. What an appropriate action to take prior to travelling to fellowship with God! Although we do not sacrifice animals any longer, thanks to Christ’s fulfillment, we might do well to still prepare ourselves in a way when we come before God. Perhaps a moment to dial in our focus on Him, to quiet the chatter in our hearts and mind, to assume the posture of worship and obedience.
This group of men then are presented with some image or form of God. It is clearly supernatural, and it is surely God. And the Exodus 24:11 happens. God called these men to Him, and He did not harm them. When God calls us to Him, it’s not to harm us. What a terrible misconception of God some have in these times, that He is anxious for us to come to Him just so He can zap us or beat us down. God is about restoration and love, when He calls us it is for those purposes. And then they ate and drank. They had a meal together! This is a sign of establishing the covenant between God and Israel.
Finally we see that there is another “level” of God’s revealing Himself, as He calls just Moses up the mountain even further. And God reveals that this trip is for the purpose of delivering the tablets that He has prepared for the Israelites, that contain this covenant that has been verbally and publicly accepted, had a meal in confirmation of, and now being collected by Moses in hard copy form from the hand of God.
Lord, thank You for calling us to redeem and restore us. I pray that we approach You in the appropriate posture, not of one who is mighty, but as one who is obedient and worshipful. Continue to lead us through prayer, Your word, and all the providential experiences You place in our lives. Amen.