Exodus 24:12–14 (ESV) 12 The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and wait there, that I may give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.” 13 So Moses rose with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God. 14 And he said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we return to you. And behold, Aaron and Hur are with you. Whoever has a dispute, let him go to them.”
It must have been an amazing day. God calls Moses up into the mountain to receive the commandments. There is lightening and thundering going on all around – the earth is shaking. Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu and 70 of the elders of Israel had just drawn close to eat and drink in God’s presence, and had seen a glorious vision. There had been sacrifices, charges to the people, and the congregation sprinkled with blood. The air must have crackled with electricity.
Then, the voice comes. “Come up to me” Moses. “Wait there” Moses. I want to give you the “tablets of stone.” So Moses went up. And then he does something that to me seems exceedingly strange. He turns to the elders and says: “Wait here for us until we return to you. And behold, Aaron and Hur are with you. Whoever has a dispute, let him go to them.” Its the last sentence that gets me. How mundane. How – how, normal. With all of this going on, you mean to tell me that the people down below are going to get into disputes with one another? Disputes that it will take a 3rd party to help resolve? Really? With God thundering nearby, and all the other terrifying manifestations? Really? Yep.
Even in the highest moments of Divine drama, the ordinary goes on. This is both a blessing, and a curse.
In seasons of revival or when the Spirit is moving on a congregation in extraordinary ways, people still squabble; there are still petty arguments. The windows still need washed, the carpet swept and the bathrooms cleaned.
In the holy moment of an aged saint’s passing into their eternal rest, somewhere, babies are being born, muggers are taking new victims, drug addicts are coming to Christ, kids are watching cartoons, prostitutes are selling their bodies, new converts are being baptized, and septic tanks are being pumped out.
We so often want the world to stop and pay at least silent homage to our moment – whether it be grave or glorious. But it isn’t so. The soldiers rolled dice for a poor man’s garment while the Son of God was murdered right in front of their eyes. Priests went home smug and self-satisfied while Mary crumbled and the Disciples despaired.
On the final day, some will be sleeping, others grinding and still others in the field. They will be eating and drinking and marrying at the moment when eternity fully eclipses time once and for all.
And God will still be speaking. Will we be listening?