“Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank.” (Exodus 24:9-11)

The rituals of sacrifice and sprinkling of blood served to ratify the covenant between God and Israel as well as atone for the sins of the people. The Lord had stated that He had chosen Israel. He promised to protect and love her and Israel promised to obey God’s Law but they were afraid to approach God directly. This is why Moses served as the mediator along with Aaron, his sons and the Elders.

The elders entered into the presence of the Lord and lived. Because of man’s sinfulness, it was believed that no one could meet with God directly without being struck down. And yet the description of God only mentions His feet and what was beneath them. Perhaps this is because Aaron and the elders were so fearful of being in God’s awesome presence that they could not lift their eyes to view Him. They knew their own sinfulness and doubt and that God knew this too. Thus they only glimpsed his feet when they could have viewed His face: the blood of the covenant covered over their sinfulness.

The concept of an awesome holy God is quite overwhelming for us for He is Holy and we are not. Sinful unclean beings cannot stand in His presence. Yet God accepts us as pure because of the sacrifice of Jesus and the blood He poured out for our sins. We are now allowed to enter the presence of the Lord by faith and without fear.