What a day this was! Standing at the foot of Mount Sinai as it shook violently because of the presence of the Lord; these
people trembled for fear because of sensory overload! A grievous mistake was made that day by folks who did not wisely
consider what they were saying when they declared their unwillingness to hear the voice of God directly choosing rather to
get it second-hand from Moses. What a colossal mistake!

The Lord had planned for this nation to be very special to Him, in fact, He called them, “…
a special treasure to Me above all
…” (Exodus 19:5-6) He had already proclaimed them to be, “…a kingdom of priests and a holy nation…” It is clear His
intent was to intimately interact with His chosen people and to directly communicate at times with them. But as we see they
chose a lesser position with lesser privileges, all because of the fear they experienced that day at Mount Sinai.

Is there a lesson for us to learn here? Indeed there is. Those who chose this foolish course did in fact separate themselves
from the voice of God and from that day forward God spoke to them only through Moses. But, when God spoke about His
nation of priests His words did not fall to the ground and die; His words have traveled intact for these 3500 years since the
time of Moses and now remain valid for the covenant people of God – us. How do we know this? The apostle Peter reaffirms
this truth: I Peter 2:9 “
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may
proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
” God is talking about you and me in this
verse! Look how special we are to our heavenly Father.

Even though God did not change His mind about Israel even after they drove a wedge between themselves and Him, the
manner in which He communicated changed. Let us learn from their mistake, for this is certainly not something we want to
imitate. He speaks with us directly if we choose to listen. We do not need a priest to hear from God on our behalf, as we
know, because He lives within us and has made His voice clear to us. (John 16:13) Far too many Christians rely totally upon
their pastor or church leaders to speak for God. He does use His chosen vessels to speak to His Church but this should not
displace our direct communication with Him through the Holy Spirit as we pray and listen.

You have direct access to the throne of God (Hebrews 4:16) because of your status as a priest. Your Father in heaven
wants to fellowship personally with you, hearing what you have to say and wanting you to hear what He has to say. The
choice Israel made kept them weak and spiritually immature. Not so with you. Your time with God one-on-one is when you
grow and mature and rise from glory to glory and move forward from faith to faith. I encourage you to spend time with God –
you’ll be glad you did.
Learning From Their Journey
Lesson #9
A Nation of Priests
By Bishop Randy Barnett

Exodus 20:18-19
“Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the
mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. Then they said to
Moses, ‘You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.’”