I can’t stand it any more. I just have to ask.
Back in January of 2011, I published a blog post called, “Up and Down Mt. Sinai” (See January 27, 2011). Since then, thousands of people have read that little essay. That’s saying a lot, since I have many posts that have been read only once or twice. Week after week for almost two years, “Up and Down” has been my Top Post by a landslide. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why. It’s a mystery.
Do lots of people type “Mt. Sinai” into a search engine and stumble onto my blog? Or is someone checking into my blog one hundred times a day just to get my heart racing? Or is there a religious school somewhere that has marked my post as required reading? I’m at a loss. I’d like your help. Tell me why you are here. I’m dying to know. Thanks!
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In the midst of the thunder, lightning and smoke of Exodus 19, there is a rather amusing side story. I love it when the Bible strikes my funny bone; God does display a great sense of humor from time to time.
In this scene, Moses has led the Israelites to Mt. Sinai, the place God had told Moses at the beginning of his adventure to come and meet up. Now, Mt. Sinai is no Mt. McKinley, but it was still a good mile and a half hike to the top. The Israelites set up camp at the base of the mountain and 80 year old Moses started to climb. He was probably keeping his eye open for any burning bushes during his ascent, since that’s how God spoke to him the last time he was in the vicinity.
Moses “went up to God” (v.3) and sure enough, God had a message for Moses to take to the people. So, Moses “went back” (v.7) and delivered the message. Then Moses took the people’s answer “back up to the Lord” (v.8). God was pleased and gave Moses another message for the people. After Moses “had gone down” (v.14), it wasn’t long before God “called Moses to the top of the mountain, so Moses went up” (v.20). Are you picturing this?
Here’s the funny part. Moses had just made his third trek up Mt. Sinai and God’s first words to him were, “GO DOWN and bring Aaron up” (v.24). Up and down, up and down, up and down. Isn’t that just the way it feels sometimes? But Moses spoke not a grumblin’ word; instead the Scripture says, “So Moses went down” (v.25).
Aside from the fact that Moses must have been in pretty good shape for an 80 year old, what do you think was going through Moses’ mind as he went up and down that mountain three times? Bible study ladies (and anybody else that wants to chime in) think about it this week and post your comments!
**Please see post titled “Mt. Sinai Mystery” published on October 19, 2012