Run to the Rock

by Alan Breitenstein

September 17, 2023

Was there a time that God gave a commandment that His children could disobey and be rewarded for doing so? Could it be that what we think is a punishment could actually be a reward? In the Word of God very few things seem as they appear.

Determine for yourself the answer to these questions after this message.

  • Have you ever watched a game show and the contestant wins a big prize? What is the reaction of that contestant?
  • What about an action movie where a damsel in distress is saved by the fearless warrior. What is the damsel in distress' reaction?
  • When someone is filled with joy, what is it they do?
  • What is it that Debbie and Peggy and Lillie do when they see you?

All of the above illustrations have the same reaction. Joy can be deeply rooted or be shallow.

We are going to Genesis 2:16-17

16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Now let's turn to Exodus chapter 19. It is said that this chapter is the beginning of the wedding ceremony in the wilderness.  We will be going through the whole chapter.

1 In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.
2 For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.
3 And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;
4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.
5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him.
8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.
9 And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD.
10 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes,
11 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.
12 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:
13 There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.
14 And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes.
15 And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives.
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.
19 And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.
20 And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.
21 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish.
22 And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them.
23 And Moses said unto the LORD, The people cannot come up to mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it.
24 And the LORD said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the LORD, lest he break forth upon them
25 So Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them.

Verses 12, 13, 21, 23, and 24 all reiterate the same thing: the people are not to break through and touch the mountain.

Why did God have to repeat that command 5 times?  Originally my first thought was why did God say that the people would surely be put to death, for the people were dead already through the sin of Adam.

Verse 16 puts more fear into the people through the lightning and thunder. Verse 18 with a quake. What reason would God have to put that much fear into a bride to where He does not want to be touched on their wedding day?

Genesis 2-17 says we will surely die and Exodus 19-12 says we will be put to death. Being put to death has more fear instilled into a body doomed for death.

1st John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Was God looking for any with this perfection?

There were nearly 1 million people in the wilderness.  Maybe God was concerned about the rush toward Him.  After all there would have been far more fatalities there than at the Who concert.  Was God referring to that kind of death? I doubt it.

All that our ancestors witnessed, who wouldn't want to be there to see or hear from the One who saved them?  Was the Lord just testing them to see how deep their love and joy was? It was these people who cried out to God for deliverance from Pharoah. What percentage of these people did the crying out? And of those that cried out, how deep was their love for God? Was it deep enough to the point that they would rather be dead than to continue to live in their present day bondage? Was it deep enough to be delivered from the present day turmoil? Do we not find ourselves in the same situation today?

We recently went to a revival praying for God to restore His order. All the ingredients were there for Him to do so: repentance, seeking His face and the humbling and the turning from our wicked ways.

How many times has each of asked the Lord God to deliver us from this insanity? How many times have we asked the Lord God to take us out of this world? We have to evaluate ourselves on what our motive is for the asking. Is it truly that we have had enough of seeing the same mistakes being made over and over and that the only way out is to be out of this world and into the shelter house of God, our Father. Are we only interested in ourselves and not considering what the will of God is?

I am guilty of asking such through frustration of the events of this world;  frustration from our own kindred falling to the way of the world. It is through this message that God is humbling me.

Other witnesses in the Word of God that seem similar to the above readings and what the result was:

1st Chronicles 13:10 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God.

I would say that you could put 100 men in the place of Uzza and at least 99 of them would have met the same result. And I am guessing that at least 1 of them would have been looking away and not noticing the ark tilting.  Could be the anger of the Lord was kindled due to the Ark had staves on the sides of it to be carried and not carted.

Matthew 14:35-36

35 And when the men of that place had knowledge of him, they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto him all that were diseased;
36 And besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole.

The Judeo’s would use this as an example to proving that the God of the Old Testament is different than the God of the New Testament; one being mean and the other being love.

The death that Our Father was referring to in Genesis 2-17 is not the same death in Exodus 19 -12,13, 21,23, and 24. Genesis 2-17 death is the result of taking from the forbidden tree. The Exodus 19-12 death appeals to the losing of these cherished fallen bodies sooner than we want.

It occurred to me later that Adam and Eve were evicted from the garden to keep them from taking fruit from the tree of Life, and obviously it just was not time for their descendants from doing so also.The question is why prolong the inevitable?  Would you rather die committing sin compared to dying trying to hug our Father? The answer to that is whatever is God's Will. If it was God's will for any to touch, They would have touched.

Any death referred to in the Word of God is the death of the carnal mind. Would that be so bad? Only if it is our desire to lose it and the will of God for us to keep it. The first death is getting the carnal mind.

Genesis 5:24:  And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

Could this be the type of death God is looking for from us? Do we have the joy or enthusiasm to walk with God?  For if this is the case, then the title to this mini-message should be Run To the Rock. It should be run and not walk for if you walk the carnal mind might change your mind.

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel.