So far each day has consisted of multiple stops throughout our day but today was only one: Mount Sinai.
Granted, there are a number of possible locations for the actual mount Sinai (3 possible among archeologists and 9 possible among Jewish historians) but the mountain we climbed is believed to be a very good possibility among many theologians based on the Biblical math of Israel’s journeys.
It was a really fun day. Very hot, but very fun. The hike/climb was a great variety of hiking, bouldering, and rock climbing. The mountain range we hiked through and climbed up was stunning. Beautiful red slate rocks with a variety of black volcanic rock and green copper laced rocks intermixed. It was a desert rainbow of color.
We stopped a number of times to hear Rod teach on the importance of Sinai in the story of God’s people.
There are 4 main deserts in Israel and 3 of them are described with the Hebrew word midbar, which is translated “desert.” These include the deserts that David, Abrahm, Isaac, and Jacob lived, worked, and prospered in. But the third desert is the Sinai desert, where a different Hebrew word is used: yeshimon, which is translated “wilderness.”
In the midbar, life is sustainable. It is the land flowing with milk and honey (Exodus 3- land of the shepherd and the farmer). But in the yeshimon, in the Sinai desert, you cannot survive without outside help. This is why God provided manna (Exodus 16), water (Exodus 17), and leadership to His people (Exodus 13). He was their shepherd while they walked (not wandered) with God in the desert. God meet us in the wasteland because we cannot survive without Him. And He provided “green pastures” (Psalm 23), which isn’t an abundance, but instead just what we need.
Mount Sinai is not only known for being the destination of Moses when He met with God, but it was also known as Mount Horeb where Elijah ran to meet with God and encountered His “still small voice” (1 Kings 19). We stopped at one point and had a few minutes of stillness on God’s mountain to listen in the silence for His whisper. I found a cleft in the rocks (much like Moses in Exodus 33:22) and sat.
The silence was stunning. It was like someone muted the world as I sat high up on a mountain overlooking the beautiful desert below me. I didn’t hear God speak audibly or even in my spirit, but I did sit in the silence and acknowledge His presence and praise Him for who He is. It was a powerful moment in the midst of vibrant stillness.
Then we made our way to the top of Mount Sinai.
It was beautiful. Again, nothing earth-shattering happened (good thing too, since we were up so high) but it was powerful to be on the mountain of God and listen to Rod teach us of God’s love for His bride, His people, Israel, and then us grafted in through Jesus (Romans 11:17).
Mount Sinai is God’s wedding chapel.
The 10 commandments are His wedding vows.
The Promised Land is His prepared home for us.
God looked down on His people from the top of Sinai and, much like a groom standing at the front of a church and seeing His bride walk toward Him, was overwhelmed with love for His chosen people, His segula, His precious.
Then we all stood up on the top of the mountain and shouted: “I do!”