2/28 Exodus 24:11

11 And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank.

After the Moses read the commandments and the people agreed to obey, the covenant was sealed with blood. Then God invited the leaders of Israel to come up Mount Sinai and meet with Him. They feared this holy God would destroy them, but He did not lay a hand on them.

What did they see? God is a Spirit. Moses describes the clear sapphire they saw under God's feet, but other than that there is no description. They must have seen the pre-incarnate Son of God who is the visible manifestation of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15). You would think they would simply fall on their faces and worship Him. That is the response in many other passages of Scripture describing an encounter with God. But here it simply says they ate and drank. In the Hebrew culture, this was a way to conclude a covenant. To dine with another was a sign of being at peace with them. It was a time of joyful fellowship that a lifelong agreement had been reached.

We see this again at the end of the New Testament when Jesus comes to the church of Laodicea (Revelation 3:20). He has concluded a covenant of blood with them as well, one made in His own blood on the cross. But this time, He comes down to them and knocks on their door. They had taken lightly the importance of this wonderful covenant and not concluded it with fellowship with God. He promises to come in and dine with them if they will only open the door.

The first account with Moses took place in fear and trembling as the mountain shook and burned. The people agreed to the covenant of the Law. The second account with the church in Laodicea speaks of the apathy of some people in response to the wonderful covenant of grace. In both accounts God is graciously willing to fellowship with man (Song of Songs 5:2-6). In the first God invites them to come up to Him. In the second, God comes down to us in our waywardness and asks for the opportunity to renew our passion. No other faith presents such a gracious God!

Consider: How are you responding to such a gracious invitation?