ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Page 126



114
IMMERSE

BEGINNINGS
19:9–20:1
Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will come to you in a thick cloud,
Moses, so the people themselves can hear me when I speak with you. Then
they will always trust you.”
Moses told the Lord what the people had said. Then the Lord told
Moses, “Go down and prepare the people for my arrival. Consecrate them
today and tomorrow, and have them wash their clothing. Be sure they are
ready on the third day, for on that day the Lord will come down on Mount
Sinai as all the people watch. Mark off a boundary all around the mountain. Warn the people, ‘Be careful! Do not go up on the mountain or even
touch its boundaries. Anyone who touches the mountain will certainly
be put to death. No hand may touch the person or animal that crosses the
boundary; instead, stone them or shoot them with arrows. They must be
put to death.’ However, when the ram’s horn sounds a long blast, then the
people may go up on the mountain.”
So Moses went down to the people. He consecrated them for worship,
and they washed their clothes. He told them, “Get ready for the third day,
and until then abstain from having sexual intercourse.”
On the morning of the third day, thunder roared and lightning flashed, and
a dense cloud came down on the mountain. There was a long, loud blast
from a ram’s horn, and all the people trembled. Moses led them out from
the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. All
of Mount Sinai was covered with smoke because the Lord had descended
on it in the form of fire. The smoke billowed into the sky like smoke from
a brick kiln, and the whole mountain shook violently. As the blast of the
ram’s horn grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God thundered his
reply. The Lord came down on the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses
to the top of the mountain. So Moses climbed the mountain.
Then the Lord told Moses, “Go back down and warn the people not to
break through the boundaries to see the Lord, or they will die. Even the
priests who regularly come near to the Lord must purify themselves so
that the Lord does not break out and destroy them.”
“But Lord,” Moses protested, “the people cannot come up to Mount
Sinai. You already warned us. You told me, ‘Mark off a boundary all around
the mountain to set it apart as holy.’”
But the Lord said, “Go down and bring Aaron back up with you. In the
meantime, do not let the priests or the people break through to approach
the Lord, or he will break out and destroy them.”
So Moses went down to the people and told them what the Lord had
said.
Then God gave the people all these instructions:





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