It took the rising and waining of three moon cycles for the sons of Israel to come to the foot of the mountain in the wilderness of Sinai. The Lord spoke to Moses on the mountain and told him to tell the sons of Israel: You have seen the power of the Lord. If you will obey the voice of the Lord and keep his covenant, then you will be the Lord’s special possession among all the people on the earth. Thus, the sons of Israel were chosen by the Lord to be his special possession; however, it is not without condition, they are obligated to obey the word of the Lord and keep his commandments. Their forefather Adam was free to eat the fruit of any tree in the garden but the Lord commanded him not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; however, Adam listened to the voice of his wife and ate the forbidden fruit. Will the sons of Israel fare any better than Adam?
Moses spoke the word of the Lord to the elders of the people and they were all in agreement to observe all that the Lord commanded them. When the Lord came to Moses, he did so in a visible cloud. This was so that the people would see and believe that Moses spoke with the Lord. Moses gave the message of the people to the Lord.
The Lord commanded that the people consecrate themselves because on the third day he would come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of the people; however, none of them are to come up on the mountain, nor any of their animals because the Lord is Holy.
On the third day, the Lord came with thunder and lightening and in a thick cloud on the mountain and they could hear the blast of a very loud trumpet. The people trembled and rightly so, the sight and sound must of been very terrifying. All of the people came out of the camp and stood at the foot of the mountain with the thick cloud, with the thunder and lightening. The cloud was actually smoke because the Lord had descended in fire. As if the sight was not enough, as they approaced the mountain, the whole mountain trembled violently. This caused the people to tremble with fear. Moses along with the priests set bounds around the mountain that the people could not cross. This means that they could only come so close to the Lord. There was a separation in relationship. They were the Lord’s possession and special people; nonetheless, they did not have the relationship of father and child. Only Moses and Aaron were aloud in the presence of the Lord. This is the setting for the giving of the Law, the Ten Commandments of God. If the people would obey his voice and keep his commandments, they would be the Lord’s own special possession.