Advent Journey Day 23
Mount Sinai – Mount of God
From the moment God appeared in the form of a pillar of cloud/fire He was leading the Nation of Israel to Mount Sinai. This is the mountain that Moses had seen the burning bush. Therefore it was also the region where Abraham’s ancestors dwelled. It is referred to as The Mount of God for good reason, He met with Moses there a second time.
A Season in time.
The first month is Nisan, on the evening of the fourteenth is Passover, the fifteenth beginnings the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the sixteenth (or after the Sabbath) is First Fruits when a sheaf of new Barley is waved. All celebrations reminding Israel the power of God and the slavery both physical and spiritual He was saving them from. Then a block of time, seven weeks, seven Sabbaths, counting each day toward the seventh.
- Red Sea. This time was part of Israel’s actual journey into the wilderness and toward Mount Sinai. Soon they arrived at the Red Sea and God intervened. By allowing the Israelite’s to remain dry, God revealed their spiritual state, equally dry.
- Marah. They traveled for 3 days without water. Finding water became another disappointment because it was bitter and undrinkable. An elm branch thrown into the water and it was good, or healed of bitterness. God reinstated the Sabbath and tested with a proposition, ‘serve Me, do all I command, and I will protect you from all the plagues and disease because I am the Lord who Heals.’
- Elim. The next stop had, 12 streams of water, 70 palm trees, equals water, healing, and rest.
- The Desert of Sin. The fifteenth of the second month brought grumbling and God sent manna, Bread from Heaven. God was testing their resolve to follow everything He commanded. Would they obey the Sabbath? It was a struggle to remove the human instinct to hoard, slavery was self-preservation. Manna was trusting God.
- Rephidim. No water again, only dry desert and rocks. Testing and quarreling. God tells Moses, take some elders and before the people strike the rock and I will send water. Water from a rock and the beginnings of leadership through the elders. Israel is beginning to form a government structure beyond Moses.
- Amalekits wage war at Rephidim. A Nation at war with General Joshua. Moses, with the staff of God in his hand, takes Aaron and Hur to watch from above. Abraham grew weary and Aaron and Hur supported him until the war was won. God tells Moses to write it down and ensure Joshua knows. Moses built an altar to God, our Banner.
- Near the Mountain of God. Jethro, Moses father-in-law arrives with Moses’ wife and children. Jethro had heard what God had done. Jethro now sees all Moses is trying to do on his own. Advice given; choose men of God to help. Leaders of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens to judge the people and their disputes reserving the difficult cases for Moses. Advice received; A Judicial System is established.
- God Calls Moses. A choice; ‘Tell the people you saw all I did, how I protected and provided for you, If you will do all I command, keep my covenant then I will make you a treasured possession in all the earth, a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.’
- Israel responded. A decision; ‘We will do everything He says.’
- Moses leads. A preparation; ‘Ready yourselves, wash, abstain from sex, God will speak from His Holy Mountain. 3 Days’ time.
- God Meets with His people. Thunder, lightning, smoke of a furnace, a trumpet sounding louder and louder. Don’t come near, only Moses should come up the mountain and hear my Word for you. It’s almost as if God is asking are they ready to be watered, anointed with His Wisdom?
Between Egypt and Mount Sinai there are seven distinct events each moving Israel from an enslaved nation to a Nation of God. They had to learn to trust God for their physical needs, spiritual needs, and direction. They established a leadership and judicial structure. They waged war. All because of God’s care and keeping.
Four hundred years were not rectified in forty days. They were ready to begin the real transformation process, “Doing all God said.” First they must hear the Word. Moses went back to camp, reminded them to not go up or touch the foot of the mountain. He would be back, in time. How long? Forty days.
Time and Time
This initial period in the wilderness took forty days. A long and difficult journey recognizing their absolute need to hear God’s Word. They were so ready they agreed without knowing what the commands or covenants were. The Promise of a son, still waited in time, the right time, the fullness of time. They had reached the time when God would give His Word to His people.
Time waiting, getting ready, working on yourself, relationships, connection with God all can seem daunting. Time is God’s grace and mercy. We are never fully ready, but with time we can be better prepared. Time to grow, time to forgive, time to love, time to remember. God offers opportunity in time. We learn to trust and lean on Him. In time we gain Wisdom.
It’s your turn. Have you believed for something but had to wait. Then when the time seemed right to you troubles and trials seemed to abound. Can you relate to the Israelite’s forty days in the wilderness? I would love to hear your experiences. Leave a comment below.
©2015 Elayne Cross