April 18, 2008
by Charles R. Swindoll
Read Exodus 19:16
Why did God want to meet with Moses? The text gives us two good and healthy reasons:
To establish a healthy fear of the Almighty. "Moses said to the people, 'Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin' " (Exodus 20:20).
To communicate written instructions for the people. "Now the LORD said to Moses, 'Come up to Me on the mountain and remain there, and I will give you the stone tablets with the law and the commandment which I have written for their instruction.' So Moses arose with Joshua his servant, and Moses went up to the mountain of God" (Exodus 24:12--13).
Isn't it great that God gave His people written instructions to obey? This is the first time in all of history that God wrote down His Word. Until the time of Moses, the written Word of God did not exist. But now, here it was. And to think, you and I possess those written words! What an awesome and majestic thought. How we take that privilege for granted.
Back before the collapse of the atheistic Soviet Union, my friend John Van Diest represented the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association at the Moscow Book Fair. The authorities had granted them reluctant permission to hand out a limited number of Russian language New Testaments, and long lines of people waited in line to receive a copy. When the supplies were exhausted, one desperately disappointed man asked if he might have one of the empty boxes that had once held those Testaments.
"But there's nothing in there!" John protested. "The Bibles are all gone!" With tears glistening in his eyes, the man replied, "Then I at least want the box." The Bible was so precious to this man that he treasured the cardboard box that had held the Scriptures. May our eyes be opened to the astonishing privilege that is ours to hold the complete written Word of God in our very hands.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.