Exodus 24:18 (NIV) Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
Can we talk about Moses for a minute? More specifically, can we talk about his memory?
So, here we have a picture of Moses going up on a mountain for quite a long time. I mean, in our time, he stayed on a mountain, with God, for a month and ten days. Ok, cool. Who wouldn’t want to spend some time with the Big Man Upstairs?
But there’s a catch. You’re not asking Him the important questions in life, like, “Who made You?” or, “What is the meaning of life?” or, “What’s the deal with mustard?” No, for the next month and ten days, God is giving you instructions. What kind of instructions? Here are some things God lays out:
- Offerings of the tabernacle
- Gold, silver and bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; ram skins dyed red and hides of sea cows
- Make a sanctuary
- Make a tabernacle
- The Ark
- A chest of acacia wood (plus the length, width, height, wight, shape, size, form, color, density, mass…I’m going a little overboard here)
- Poles, rings, the Testimony, a covering, cherubim, et cetera
- The Table
- Plates, dishes, pitchers, bowls, bread
- The Lampstand
- Oh, I’m sure you get it by now
- The Tabernacle
- The Alter of Burnt Offering
- The Courtyard
- Oil for the Lampstand
- The Priestly Garments
- And oh my goodness, the Consecration of the Priests goes on for 46 verses!
God seriously talks to Moses from chapter 25 to 32. That’s 7 chapters of God talking!
Now, may I turn your attention to us humans for a second? Put yourself back in school. How long are high school classes, an hour? Two hours? How many times, during a lecture, did you (or the teacher’s pet) say, “Can you repeat that?” And so the teacher had to rewind and say what they just said so you could complete your notes.
Not one time in those seven chapters does it say, “Moses raised his hand and said, ‘Lord, Thy words have fallen upon human ears, and have entered into a human mind. May You show mercy upon Thy humble servant and say those words once more?'” as he picked up his stick and prepared to scribble in the dust.
In fact, no where does it say that Moses took notes at all. He sat there for forty days and forty nights, in the presence of God Himself, and just listened to Him. It never said that Moses rewound God.
How did he do it? How did he remember seven chapters of instruction? Without notes?
We hear God say two words to us, and we do a double take and cry out, “Wait a second! Pause and rewind! Whatchu say?”