The Altar at Mt. Sinai and the Ark of the Covenant

by Mary Nell Wyatt

"I AM" was the voice in the burning bush. The knowledge of a coming Redeemer was known from the time Adam fell, and the blood sacrifices were instituted which pointed to the His death. Abraham knew and understood what had to occur, as Christ later said to the Jews: 

JOH 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

The events of the Exodus were part of the plan that was decided in Heaven- the plan of salvation for downfallen man. And at the mountain, more details of that plan emerged. God was personally intervening to prepare the people who were given the privilege of taking the knowledge of Him to the world.

Soon after arriving, before the Lord came down upon the mountain in the sight of the people, Moses was instructed: 

EXO 19:12 ...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:

Once the bounds were erected, the people gathered at the foot of the mount, 

EXO 19:16 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. 17 And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. 18 And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.

No man could see God and live. His Presence veiled in the clouds and smoke, He descended to the earth, upon the mountain of Sinai.

And then, the great "I Am" spoke the 10 precepts of His Law with His Own mouth , and it was to be the last time He personally spoke to the multitude.

EXO 20:18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. 19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.