Friday, January 29, 2010

The Mountain of God

I like to read the Bible online at  This morning, I read Exodus 24.  The chapter starts out as God says, "Come up to the Lord."  He is referring to a mountain when he says "Come up".  Later in the chapter, this is what it says:

Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up10 and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself.
11 But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank.
12 The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and commands I have written for their instruction.”
13 Then Moses set out with Joshua his aide, and Moses went up on the mountain of God.

What was it like hanging out with God on the mountain?  Mountains feel like holy places.  There is something about their immense size that makes me feel so small and in awe.  For some reason, God wasn't standing directly on the mountain but was on a jewel-like material.  Interesting.  The author also tells us that God did not raise his hand against the people.  The assumption is that He would have been justified in doing so.  So, God had gracious intentions as he called the leaders to be with Him.  They saw God, and they ate and drank.  What was that like???  What did they eat?  Were they nervous and formal?  Or was it comfortable and celebratory?  I'm sure it was the latter.  In God's presence, I'm sure they experienced fullness and immense joy.  Then, God calls Moses up to the mountain alone, to stay there.  Wow!  To have the privilege of taking a solitary mountain climb sounds perfect to me right now.  This summer on our family trip to Wyoming, my parents watched Molly so Ryan, Tim and I could take a morning hike in the foothills of the Tetons.  The air was clean.  There was a stillness and calm that evaded everything.  I'm sure this is what Moses experienced but with God himself! 

While reading I was overcome with a desire for more intimacy with God and also with nature.  There is a nature center near here with 25 miles of trails, lots of wildlife and wetlands.  I need to make visiting this beautiful place a priority and make nature a constant in my life. 

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