Moses went into the Tent of Meeting to speak with God face-to-face, just like we talk with our neighbors over coffee. He spent enough time with God but had never seen him. He wanted to see God’s Glory and God agreed to let him see his Goodness but he couldn’t look at his face otherwise he’d die. So, he placed him in the cleft of the rock and as he passed by Moses was able to see God’s back.
So, a second time God told Moses to cut two tablets of stone just like the first ones. He was to bring them up to the top of Mount Sinai. Only Moses was to be on the mountain. No one, not even the livestock were to be grazing in front of the mountain.
Moses climbed the mountain. God descended in a cloud and took his place beside Moses. It was on the top of the mountain that he received the Covenant which Moses inscribed on the tablets of stone. He was on the mountain with God for 40 days and 40 nights.
Moses had talked with God before but had never spent this much time alone with Him. He came down the mountain without a clue that he had been changed by being in the presence of God.
Jesus climbed the mountain to pray. He took Peter, James, and John with him. It must have been quite a hike because the disciples were worn out by the climb. They fell asleep. Something woke them and it was then that they witnessed the transfiguration of Jesus. They saw him talking with Moses and Elijah. Luke writes that Jesus’ face changed and his clothes became blinding white.
As the group was getting ready to climb back down the mountain a cloud covered them and God spoke! He confirmed that Jesus was his Son, the Chosen One and they were to listen to him.
Luke tells us they were speechless and continued that way until after Jesus ascended into heaven.
Moses, Peter, James, and John were changed by their encounter with God. These men were chosen, called by Jesus and God for special work. Can you imagine having a close encounter with God? Who wouldn’t be different after such an experience?
God said that the disciples should listen to Jesus. My question for us is, “How do we listen to Jesus today?” Have we heard God calling to us? In our own lives do you think we’ve been chosen for a particular purpose? Have you ever had a strong sense of God speaking to you, choosing you, claiming you for a certain assignment?
People we’ve read about in the Bible were changed by their encounters with the Divine. People today are also different after spending time with God.
How have you responded to these calls or sense of call from God? How have you been changed by the call?
Spending time on the mountain top is exhilarating, enthusing, energizing, and amazing. It sets us up, equips and inspires us; but we can’t live on the mountaintop, insulated from the stresses and strains of life, for we are called to be involved in the mess that awaits us, in the real stuff of life at the foot of the mountain, to use those mountain top moments to equip us for the stuff of everyday. We can be thankful for the transfiguring moments that bring change to the workaday routine.