9 Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, 10 and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness.11 And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank.
This is an intriguing passage. Right after Moses and the Israelites enter into a covenant with YHWH the elders sit down and eat a meal in his presence. The ESV Study Bible notes on this passages add some interesting insight as to what is happening.
“Ex. 24:9–11 Moses, Aaron and his sons, and 70 of the elders partake in what the peace offering (v. 5) signifies: fellowship and communion in the presence of God. The description focuses on the fact that the men saw the God of Israel (vv. 9–11) and remained unharmed. According to 33:20 “man shall not see me and live,” so the “seeing” here in 24:10 was something different from that of 33:20; cf. 33:23, which perhaps denotes a partial, as opposed to a full and complete, vision of God (see notes on Matt. 5:8;John 1:18; Rev. 22:4). The description of the clear surface they saw under his feet may indicate that this is all they saw of God.”
I was thinking of this passage at Sojourn gathered tonight as I was administering communion, a meal done in observance of the New Covenant inaugurated by Jesus. This was the third straight week I was involved in giving communion, and it struck me this time how edifying it was for me to serve communion and not just receive it, which is obviously an enormous blessing in its own right.
It’s very easy to concentrate on how Jesus’ blood covers my sin. But to repeat, “The Blood of Christ, shed for you, Brooks, Lauren, Tyler, Jack,….” This transposes the whole thing to a higher key.
It’s joyous to remember that “He bore the sin of the many”. (Is. 53:11)