A short devotion for 14th June

Call to worship

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Psalm 100:1-2

Prayer of Praise

We unite with the whole world in praising you, creator God.
We come before you with gladness and thanksgiving.
We praise your goodness; we praise your faithfulness; we praise your tenderness. We are yours and we worship you. We bless your name for ever. Amen

Prayer of Confession

Lord you have called us to the privilege of service, but we have failed to serve.
You have given us the blessing of peace, but we have chosen discord.
You have loved as shepherd tends his sheep, but we have strayed from your way. Forgive us, and show us the path of obedience and faithfulness that your Son trod. In His name we pray. Amen

Bible Reading

  • Exodus 24:12-18

Message: Moses meets with God on the Mountain

Text

Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself. Exodus 24:9-10

Introduction

On the 29th May 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary (NZ) along with Sherpa Tenzig Norgay (Nepal) finally conquered Mount Everest and placed their countries flag on top of the mountain. It was the day of Queen Elizabeth 2nd ’s coronation. There had been nine previous attempts; one such cost the lives of Mallory and Irvine in 1924.
Gertrude Bell, born in 1868, a brilliant scholar, was able to speak eight languages and was the first woman to gain a first in modern history at Oxford. Gertrude became a well known archaeologist, traveller and Middle East diplomat but before that she was a Mountaineer (1899-1904) conquering the Meije and Mount Blanca in the Swiss Alps. In August 1902 she was attempting to climb the unclimbed North East Face of the Finsteraarhorn, (4,274 metres); it nearly cost her life. She spent two terrifying nights roped to her guides, clinging to the rock face during relentless snow, hail, and lighting. Forty eight hours on the rope, she noted in her diary afterwards, “Went to bed and ate four eggs and drank quantities of milk. My feet frostbitten a little.” Though she failed on this occasion, another Alpine peak bears her name, ‘Gertrudspitze’ (BBC History Magazine).

Mountain top experiences can mean different things to different people, some do it for the view when they get to the top, and others go to the top for the sheer achievement of getting there. On Easter Sunday some climb the Malvern Hills to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection. When driving overland to India in 1972 after an accident, I spent four days stuck up on the mountains with others. It was great, spending time alone with the Lord.

In our reading from Exodus 24 we see Moses going up the mountain to spend time with God.

Moses’ Mountain Top Experience

When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai. (Exodus 24:15-16)

  • Here we have Moses in the presence of a Holy God. The writer of Exodus shows this by his use of words like Glory, Fire (17) cloud and voice of God.
  • Here we have an historical event recorded for us that was to change the lives not only of Moses but also the nation of Israel forever.
  • Here we have Moses being summoned into the presence of His Majesty, the King of kings and Lord of lords to be given the Law.
  • Here we have Moses the leader becoming the servant.
  • Here we have Moses bowing in the presence of his Master.

O, how I love the words of that hymn, Majesty, worship His Majesty, unto Jesus be glory, honour and praise. Majesty, kingdom authority, flows from His throne unto His own. His anthem raise. (NHWS 219). In verse 16 of the 24th chapter of Exodus we have another great statement, “and the Glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai.” God came down to meet with Moses; He came down to meet man. Creator God was on the that mountain top, “Come up to Me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the Law and Commands I have written for their instructions.” (Ex. 24:12). Written by the hand of God, touched by His hand and Moses got to hold them to his breast as he carried them down the mountain. God came down and reached out to man.

We need to experience the warmth of God’s presence and listen to what He has to say to us in these days and be guided by His Majesty. Those forty days were life changing for Moses and the world. Have we had a mountain top experience in God’s presence today?

Let me explain: have we spent time reading the Bible, God’s Word? Have we spent time in prayer, speaking to God? When people speak about a Mountain Top experience they talk about the Joy they have of spending time in His Majestic presence.

In Exodus we have the Law being given and in John we read, “Look the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Christ came into the world to fulfil the Law.

The question we must ask ourselves, do we trust in the Blood of Jesus Christ, God’s own son to take away our sins?

We don’t have to go up a mountain or into a Church building, Christ will meet us where we are now, in our homes, in the shop, out for our walk wherever we are. Just bow your head and speak to Him: confessing your sins and yielding your life to Him. When you do, your life will never be the same again. Don’t take my word for it, take Jesus’ words, Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Prayers of Intercession

Loving Lord, you call and equip us to serve you. Watch over those who risk their own safety by caring for oppressed believers. Strengthen and protect all those who are persecuted for sharing their faith in places where living out their Christian faith in peace is not allowed. Lord, graciously hear us.

Loving Lord, you empower us to live our discipleship. Give wisdom, imagination and the strength to persevere to those who face apathy as they seek to live out their discipleship. Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.

Loving Lord, you understand what it means to suffer for what is right. Give comfort and courage to those who are unjustly imprisoned, intimidated and tortured because of their faith. Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.

Loving Lord we pray for our Church Family, that you would meet each and everyone at the point of their need. We think also of Catherine in Holly Mount suffering the loss of her mother.

Blessing

May the Lord watch over and bless all who suffer.
May Jesus strengthen those he calls to service.
May the Spirit inspire us all to action beyond our imagining, and the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, rest upon us.
Amen.