Greetings in the name of the Father, the son, and the Holy Spirit.
Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. (James 4:8)
In the heart of the desert, beneath the scorching sun and surrounded by an endless expanse of sand, there stood a mountain unlike any other. Mount Sinai – a silent sentinel, its rocky slopes echoing the whispered secrets of a time when heaven met earth in a dramatic display of divine revelation.
Imagine, if you will, the bustle of a newly liberated people, the Israelites, camped at the foot of this mountain. Their journey has been long and arduous, but now they rest, their weary eyes gazing up at the towering spectacle before them. Little did they know that this desolate mountain, touched by the fingers of the dawn, was about to become their sacred meeting place with the Divine.
Suddenly, the tranquility of the scene is shattered. The very ground under their feet trembles. Thunder roars overhead, punctuating the quiet with its deafening blasts. Jagged streaks of lightning rent the sky, illuminating the mountain in a harsh, eerie light. An ethereal mist descends, shrouding the mountain peak in a veil of mystery. The piercing blast of a trumpet cuts through the air, its haunting notes a herald of the supernatural encounter to come.
Amidst this spectacle, one man sets apart from the crowd – Moses. With a sense of sacred duty, he ascends the mountain, stepping into the cloud as he disappears from view. He is on his way to meet God.
This breathtaking scene from Exodus 19 captures one of the most significant encounters with God in the Old Testament. As we delve deeper into this passage today, let us, like Moses, approach with a sense of awe and anticipation, ready to meet God on the mountain, and to be forever changed by the encounter. Just as Moses was called to Mount Sinai, we too are called into a divine encounter with God, through Jesus Christ, who stands as our mediator, our guide, and our Savior. So let’s journey together, back to that ancient mountain, and explore what it truly means to encounter God.
As we journey back in time to this pivotal moment in the life of the Israelites, we find ourselves in the wilderness, at the base of Mount Sinai. Three months have passed since God’s remarkable deliverance of the Israelites from the clutches of the Pharaoh, and it is here, in this desolate place, that the Lord is about to reveal Himself in a profound way.
However, before this divine revelation could take place, preparation was necessary. It is a crucial aspect often overlooked, but it holds immense spiritual significance. God’s instructions to Moses for the people were explicit:
“Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes and be ready by the third day, because on that day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.” (Exodus 19:10-11)
These instructions imply a spiritual preparation, a consecration. It was not just about washing their garments but washing their hearts, setting themselves apart for the holy God. It was about introspection, repentance, and a spiritual realignment. Meeting God was not just an everyday occurrence; it required deliberate, intentional preparation. It was about meeting God on His terms, in His holiness.
This spiritual principle applies to us today as followers of Christ. Just as the Israelites were called to prepare themselves to meet God, we too are called to a life of spiritual preparation and consecration. Our encounter with God requires an open heart, a repentant spirit, and a commitment to live a life pleasing to Him. The apostle Peter echoes this sentiment in
1 Peter 1:15-16, “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.'”
Our readiness to meet God requires intentional effort on our part. It involves self-examination, repentance, and a heart that longs for a closer walk with Him. Like the Israelites, we are to present ourselves before Him, washed, sanctified, and consecrated.
Just as God came down on Mount Sinai to establish a covenant with His people, Jesus Christ, the mediator of the New Covenant, came down from heaven to earth. He lived a sinless life, died a sacrificial death, and rose victorious so that we might enter into a new covenant relationship with God, not based on our own efforts but based on His grace.
Our encounter with Christ and our acceptance of His gift of salvation is our Mount Sinai moment. It’s the point where we consciously decide to enter into a covenant relationship with God through Christ. It’s a sacred moment of consecration where we declare,
“Not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
Just as the Israelites prepared themselves to meet with God, we too, are called to continual preparation as we strive to live out our faith. In the words of the apostle Paul in
Ephesians 4:22-24: “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
Meeting God on the mountain is about preparation, consecration, and transformation. It’s about approaching God on His terms, ready and willing to be molded into the people He wants us to be.
Let us take a moment to reflect: Are we ready to meet God? Are we living lives of holiness and consecration? And if not, what steps can we take today to prepare our hearts to encounter Him?
And this preparation isn’t just about our individual lives. As a church body, we are also called to prepare ourselves corporately. Together, we are on a journey, navigating the highs and lows of life while looking forward to that day when we shall meet our Lord face-to-face. We need to support each other in this process of preparation, encouraging each other in love and good deeds.
Consider the words of the writer to the Hebrews,
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Our consecration and preparation should also have an outward focus. Just as God prepared Israel to be a light to the nations, we are prepared to be Christ’s ambassadors in this world, demonstrating His love, mercy, and grace to all. As
2 Corinthians 5:20 reminds us, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”
What does it mean to be Christ’s ambassador? The term ambassador usually refers to a diplomat who represents a nation. As Christ’s ambassadors, we represent the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. We carry with us the message of the King—God Himself. This is an immense privilege and responsibility, given to us through the grace of Jesus Christ.
At the heart of this ambassadorship is gratitude for what Christ has done for us. The realization that the Creator of the universe loved us so much that He gave His only Son to die for our sins is truly overwhelming. And it’s this profound gratitude that fuels our desire to share His love, mercy, and grace with others.
Consider the words of Paul in
2 Corinthians 5:14-15, “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”
Finally, the preparation that began at Sinai and culminated in the coming of Christ, continues today as we await the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. As the Apostle Peter wrote,
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:13)
Therefore, let us take to heart the lessons from Sinai, ensuring that our lives reflect an attitude of continual preparation and consecration. As we journey through this life, let us do so with the full awareness of the call to be a holy nation, a people belonging to God, living in anticipation of the day when we will meet Him face to face. As the Israelites met God at Mount Sinai, so we have met God in Christ, and so we will meet Him again at the return of Christ.
In this light, every day is a day of preparation. Every moment is a Sinai moment. For the God who met Moses and the Israelites on that mountain is the same God we worship today, the God who has called us into a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. Therefore, let us prepare our hearts and lives to meet Him, for in doing so, we draw closer to the heart of God, and experience the joy and fulfillment that comes from living in His presence. May the Lord grant us the grace to walk in this reality, today and always.
Every aspect of Moses’ encounter with God on Mount Sinai points us to Jesus Christ. The cleansing process points to Jesus as our sanctifier who purifies us from all unrighteousness . The awe-inspiring encounter illustrates the reverence we ought to have for Jesus, our King. The communication from God foreshadows Jesus, the Word made flesh, who communicates God’s love and will to us.
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. (1 John 1:9)
When we meet Jesus, our encounters are marked by transformation. Paul puts it this way in
2 Corinthians 3:18, “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
Today, we are invited to meet God on our Mount Sinai—to seek a personal, transformative encounter with Him. Just as Moses’ encounter with God changed the trajectory of the Israelites, our encounter with Jesus has the power to change our lives, our families, and our communities. Let’s remember to prepare our hearts, approach Him with reverence, and listen to His voice. In our daily walk, may we continually seek these transformative encounters with Christ, trusting in His power to change us and mold us into His image.
Our Mount Sinai today is the cross of Calvary. It’s where we meet God face to face through Christ. It’s where we encounter the magnitude of His love for us and the depth of His sacrifice. Just as the Israelites were called to a life of obedience after their Sinai encounter, we too are called to live obediently as we walk in the light of God’s love displayed through Christ.
The apostle Paul said in
Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
The cross is not just our place of salvation but also the place of daily surrender and transformation.
As we end today, let’s ponder on this: How has our encounter with Christ changed our lives? How can we, like Moses, bring the power of that encounter into our daily lives, radiating God’s transforming love to those around us?
May we encounter God in the fullness of His glory on our Mount Sinai, allowing His presence to transform us into His likeness day by day. May the echo of His voice resound in our hearts, guiding us, shaping us, and affirming His great love for us.
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (Hebrews 4:16)