God was going to speak to Moses in the presence of the people. He was going to do it to affirm Moses in the position he was in.
God says, “I am coming to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you forever.”
They will believe in Moses. God wants you to believe. He will show Himself to you.
The people can’t see God, though, or they will die.
They have to consecrate themselves. They have to wash and dedicate themselves to God. They need to separate themselves from the world, wash themselves of the world, for a moment to be able to stand in God’s presence.
When Jesus died on the cross, the temple veil tore. The veil blocked off the part of the temple where God’s presence dwelt. Through the cross of Christ and the blood of Jesus, we now have access to the Father.
We can be in God’s presence now, but we still have to come to Him consecrated.
We need to be washed in the blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins and the removal of unrighteousness. We are baptized in water to bury our old lives and to raise us to new life in Christ.
We choose to be part of that holy nation God promised. We choose to be made holy, set apart for God’s purposes and not our own.
To be consecrated we still need to wash. We aren’t to come to God because our need drives us to Him. We aren’t to come to God because our loneliness or desires drive us to Him to try and get some needs met.
We come to God as His holy priests that have been consecrated, washed and made clean, righteous and blameless, and set apart for the Lord’s purposes. We come to Him as living sacrifices, to lay our lives into His hands to do with as He wills. Not to get what we want, but in holy reverence to live out the life He’s chosen for us.