MONDAY, MARCH 4
“For they could not endure the order that was given, ‘If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.’ Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, ‘I tremble with fear.’”
Hebrews 12:20-21 ESV
A TALE OF TWO MOUNTAINS: MOUNT SINAI
Years ago a friend was having his devotional time and read about Moses seeing the glory of God. My friend prayed, “God I want to see your glory the way Moses saw your glory.” My friend sensed God saying to him, “You can’t handle my glory the way Moses saw my glory.” My friend then prayed, “Well, God give me just as much as I can handle and then grow me to handle more.”
God spoke to Moses the way a man speaks to his friend and Moses was still terrified in the presence of God’s holiness. In Hebrews 12 we are reminded of Moses’ time on Mount Sinai with God. It was there God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. But before Moses could even get back down off the mountain the nation of Israel had broken every one of God’s ten commandments. Mount Sinai represents God’s law and man’s works. Even our best efforts don’t stand up in the presence of our Holy God.
Recently, we have been looking at the race of faith and Mount Sinai represents a race that can’t be won. When we try to get closer to God by our works we will never win. We can’t work our way to God’s approval. And if you are still trying to earn God’s approval by your own efforts you should be afraid, like those at Mount Sinai, because it will never cut it.
Some of us grew up in churches that told us God loves us but then turned around and told us all the ways we had to earn God’s approval. And some of us grew up outside of church and were told just be a good person and if there is a God, He must let you in because you were a good person. Both of those approaches fall short at Mount Sinai. Hebrews 12 reminds us that faith in God is the only way to please God. What were you taught about being right with God growing up? How has Hebrews 12 changed your views? Tomorrow we will examine another mountain in this passage that makes all the difference.