Number 27 on the list of Things People On Reality TV Say Way Too Much is “They just have that star quality“. Or “they just have it“. It’s wonderful because it’s specific enough to make the speaker sound like they really know what they’re talking about yet vague enough to mean nothing whatsoever. It’s a way to separate the TV show’s darlings from the ones who won’t get much screen time. But is it even fair? Is there really anything more special about the ones who succeed? Anything at all?
The jury’s still out on The Voice, but right off the bat in this chapter, there seems to be something special about Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and the other leaders of the children of Israel. God asked for them especially. He wanted them to come up closer to him. Moses was to come the closest.
But before that happened, the covenant and laws that God had spent the last four chapters explaining to the Israelites needed to be ratified, so to speak. The Israelites promised to obey and God promised to bless and protect His people. To signify that these promises were binding and not just empty words, animals were sacrificed and their blood was sprinkled on both parties – the Israelites and the altar in front of the mountain where God was (verses 4, 6).
With the formalities out of the way, it was finally time for God to speak to Moses personally. As Moses drew closer to the thick clouds that enveloped the mountain and the God who’d made it, more than a few people must have been wondering what God had left to say.
The Treasures Within:
The Price Tag of Service
What was so special about Moses? How come he got to go up closer to God? What was his “star quality”? On one hand, nothing. Moses was just a human, just like you and me and any Israelite picked at random. But on the other hand, there was something. See Moses lived his life – his entire life – in service to God. And he wasn’t the first or last person to do so, either. There’s something special about all of us who work for God. It doesn’t even matter what we do. Whether we lead a church, lead a ministry, witness to strangers, witness to friends, preach, teach, nurse, sing, draw, or create, when we’re working for God, we’re doing something uniquely wonderful, something separate from everything else.
But before we start patting ourselves on the back, this chapter and other examples in the Bible remind us that serving God isn’t about our abilities or our high marks. Instead, it’s about the Person who leads us. It’s about the Hand we hold as we go along our way. Moses and the other leaders were invited to the VIP spots on the mountain because it came with the job. Leadership and service is not just a job well done, but it is a job done with God. Working for God requires us to come closer to Him. It forces us to look at God and study Him closely. It leads us to spend time with Him, just us and Him, relaxing, learning, and loving. Serving God may sound drear, lonely, or boring but in its truest sense it is alive, rich and teeming with growth and love.
But did all of that really need to happen thousands of feet above sea level? Especially given how dangerous it was to get close to God, why did Moses even have to go up there? Why couldn’t he have curled up in his tent? Despite the danger, the fanfare, and even the protocol of a human being coming close to God in all His perfection, God wanted Moses close. He could have conducted the rest of their conversation at a distance, but He wanted Moses close to Him. And it’s not just Moses. He wants us all closer to Him. It doesn’t matter what it takes. It took Him dying on a cross. Maybe for us it takes sacrifice, loss, or hardship – but if the Ruler of the universe thought it was worth it, then isn’t it?
God’s Message To Us:
“I have big plans for us.” Number 87 on the list of Things People On Reality TV Say Way Too Much is “You can go far in this competition”. Never mind whether it’s true or not when they say it – it’s true when God says it. You and Him, you can go far. There’s so much He wants to do through you. There’s so much He wants to teach you. So much growth is possible. So much love is possible. God did His part. He’s asked you to come closer to Him, to devote yourself, your life, and your talents to Him. Will you do your part? What will you and Jesus accomplish together?
What do you think? How do you serve God? What do you think God wanted you to get out of this chapter of the Bible?