Since the beginning of creation, the Father has desired fellowship, relationship, and communication with His people. As far back as Genesis 3, we can observe the longing of YHVH. He asks, “May I have a word with you?” “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day… and the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?”
Starting in that garden, we can see the ancient design begin to come into focus. The Father is seeking fellowship – seeking fellowship from a man who has ruined the arrangement and rendered the covenant of camaraderie an impossibility because of irrevocable sin.
Sin separates and deafens us.
On Mount Sinai, the Creator made requirements of them to hear …safely. He may ask, “May I have a word with you?” “But, without some divine guidance and intervention, we must answer, “No, lest we die.”
The Scriptures lay out criteria for His audience to remain alive during such an encounter. “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant … …And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. …and the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai. And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death: … when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.” Exodus 19
Look at that list of survival criteria:
1.) Sanctify yourselves
2.) Remain sanctified for three days
3.) Mikveh (wash or baptize)
4.) Wait to be called (the sound of the trumpet)
5.) Look, but don’t touch
Why were all these precautions necessary? They were required because of the disparity in our life and His. Our sinful condition has CHANGED US FROM THE BEING HE ORIGINALLY CREATED.
Now, many specifications must be met to facilitate cohabitation with the Almighty. Notice that the tent of meeting in the wilderness was not built with requirements of pomp, opulence and lavish adornments as though an earthly king was to inhabit the building. The requirements were all made to facilitate our inadequateness as a peer – to cover, atone and forgive our sin in order to allow approach to the Eternal.