Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Mountain Top

Often times in the Old Testament God appeared to men on the Mountaintop. In Deut 10 Moses was reminding the Israelites of their sin of creating the Golden Calf while He was on the mountaintop spending time in God's presence. I tried to put myself in Moses' sandals. I personally have never climbed a huge mountain, but I have hiked up a beautiful well traveled path on a Mountain in Colorado when I was in 7th grade. I would have to say that in 7th grade I was in pretty good shape. I had some fancy sneakers on my feet, a well worn path in front of us, a packed lunch on my back and we were headed to the top. There at our destination we were told was to be a lake and one of the most beautiful earthly sights we could enjoy. Not long into the journey we had to start taking breathing breaks. My body experienced a tired I hadn't know before and my shins were on fire. We would break for a little while and then start again. I don't remember how long it took to reach the top, but it was well worth the struggle. There in front of us was a lake that looked as if it were a mirror itself. It was set into in little cove surrounded by boulders and pines; and canopied by the immense blue sky. The smells, the sights, the feeling of attainment was all just perfect. We had lunch and enjoyed feeding these funny little chipmunks that did not appear to be the least bit intimidated by us. None of us wanted to head back down the mountain. As we did, it was much easier going down, we needed fewer breaks in fact we could practically run down. I wasn't tired, I was overflowing with excitement.

I imagine that when God called Moses to come to the mountain top he was rather excited to go and be in God's presence. However, I also imagine that as he began that climb he rather quickly realized that his sandals were not the latest in hiking boots. I doubt that there was any type of path to follow, he might even have had to back track a couple of times to find a better way. There were probably thorn bushes pulling on his robe, scratching at his legs. And let's not forget that Moses is not in his prime of life for climbing a mountain. He didn't have a backpack with a Coleman jug filled with filtered water, a PB & J sandwich, Pringles or even a Jell-O pudding snack for dessert. But, when God called him he went, he didn't just run up a little hill without losing breathe. He committed to climbing a mountain. This was not an easy task. This was not a quick task. Not even a convenient task, he was after all the leader of the clan, he had a lot of responsibilities. But he did it. He met with his Lord.

After 40 days in God's presence Moses headed back down. I am guessing that on his trip down he was floating on air and only being weighed down by these 2 huge slabs of stone he was carrying. He was probably filled with excitement to share this experience with his friends and share what the Lord had taught him. All the slips and falls on the way down, the bleeding calluses on his hands from the stones, didn't matter. The Bible says his face was glowing. However, when he made it, he wasn't exactly met with the rejoicing or welcome home party he invisioned. Instead he was met by a group of "stiff-necked" fools that had lost their way in just the matter of 40 days. They were in the valley worshiping a golden calf and serving the god of self.

When we have been in God's presence we have a glow about us as well. I've heard it put this way. "The view from the spiritual highland is breathtaking". When we make a consorted effort, a choice with determination to meet with our Lord and be in His presence, we can expect to have a joy so overflowing that our faces will glow. Is it easy to get up a little earlier in the morning when we are so tired? It is convenient to devote that time to Him while we have 5 load of laundry waiting on us? Is it something that we can commit to only if we have no other pressing responsibilities? That is a choice we all have to make. How long has it been since you made an effort and sacrificed your desires to make sure you spent time in the Presence of the King? Those who live on the mountain have a brighter view than those who live in the valley.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thankyou so much. I woke up today asking God to reveal His promises to me. While reading the "Daily Bread" and "Portals of Prayer" I counted 11 promises that we can count on! Also, my father is a very depressed man who has raised us in the Lutheran church. He always "remembers" things from past schooling, but wont research, study, ... I was able to call him this am with some facts regarding the Bible. He asked, "but I remember Moses separating the people and God destroying the unbelievers." I found it, but then he said, "I only remember Moses going on the mnt. 1 time!" I'm going to read him your blog. Thank you so much for your devotion to our God. My dad is a warm, sensitive, loving man, but he is very depressed, feels guiltly for sleeping in all day, then eating, then sleeping again. I tell him he feels convicted. I pray for him/us. And you're so right: we are allowed to make our choices to live/die, do God's will/be selfish, ... My dad lives in the valley as he sys he can't even go to church anymore in the am because he'd rather sleep! He is on alot of meds., but they've been cut back and tweaked and he has terrible withdrawals and anxiety attacks. Sound like a Christian to you? He is though. His whole family has had depression, lack of humor (like me and my son! Yikes!), and even die with Dementia. I pray your blog invites/inspires me and my dad to dig in, thirst for God's Word knowing that it is true, and be able to live in in the mountain rather than the valley. Again, thank you. His presence 2 hours ago still radiates in me and on my face. With such a busy life, thank you for your example that we must never be too busy or lazy to let God be our Lord and King!

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