I was reading the story in Exodus where Moses picked 70 of his best and brightest guys to help guide the people. This is the story just before the moment when God gives Moses the Ten Commandments. Anyway, reading the story again, I realized I had never really focused on this one section.  Moses takes Aaron and Aaron’s two sons, and the 70 newly elected leaders of Israel and they go up the mountain, with a prepared feast to sit in the presence of God. Up till now, they had witnessed God in the pillar of fire and the cloud, in the parting of the Red Sea, and in a variety of other ways, including the manna and the quails. They had some experience with God, but they had never really seen God. In fact, it was believed that no one could see God and live. So, here’s a little Scripture gem that’s worth considering.

 Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up the mountain and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was a surface that looked as if it were paved with blue sapphire stones, and it was as clear as the sky! These leaders of the Israelites saw God, but God did not destroy them. Then they ate and drank together.   Exodus 24:9, NCV

Now, did you get the picture? These 75 leaders of the people are having a feast and they literally see God. They see that His feet are on some kind of surface that looks like pure blue sapphire stones, and it’s as clear as the bright, blue sky. These people had a very real vision, an undeniable encounter with the living God. So, they have a lovely time, enjoy a little fellowship and then Moses goes on up the mountain to get The Ten Commandments.  The leaders and Aaron go back down the mountain.

The thing I find interesting is that these leaders had this incredible God experience, one I would think would live in their hearts and minds forever, and yet, in just a few weeks, they toss it all aside and make a golden calf because they’ve already forgotten the vision. They’ve already lost confidence in what they have seen. They allow mob rule to win the day.

It’s not likely you and I have seen this particular vision of God sitting with His feet resting on sapphire stones, but I am fairly confident, we’ve had our own God-sightings! We’ve experienced the Presence of God in our lives and been awed by what He has done. We have literally seen His work and sensed His touch and then we’ve forgotten what we saw. We’ve gone off and made the golden calf of worry and insecurity and grumbling because life isn’t going just right. We’ve given up the thing we know for sure, and that is that God is real. You did not think Him up. You did not imagine Him. These 75 leaders on Mt. Sinai did not think Him up or imagine Him either. They saw Him! They experienced Him and then in less than six weeks, they built a golden calf and worshipped it.

I don’t know about you, but this little Scripture gem caught me because I see myself in it. I see how often I forget God is there. He shows up over and again, and yet I still go off in some short space of time to sulk in self-pity and despair.

So, my plan is to be more intentional about looking for God’s hand at work in my life. I am going to take note of the times He shows up and gives me more than I ever expected. I am going to tell His stories, so nobody walks back down the mountain and forgets what they’ve seen and heard.

Let’s all do that. I’d love to hear your stories of seeing God at work in your life today.

This is a Gem worth holding in your heart.  Blessings to you all.