“Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. The glory of the LORD dwelt on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. Now the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. Moses entered the cloud and went up on the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.”
Moses was called into the darkness. He waited for six days. Six days of nothing but darkness, nothing but waiting for God to show up. But oh, how the wait was worth it!
Did Moses wonder if God would keep His appointment? Did he doubt God’s instructions? From the text, it doesn’t appear so. It appears that Moses was prepared to wait for however long it would take. He was sure that God would show up as He promised. And his expectation was not disappointed. On the seventh day, God called to Moses. Out of the darkness on the cloud shrouded mountain, the voice of the LORD spoke.
Would we be prepared to wait six days on top of the mountain for God to show up? Remember, it was God who called Moses up to the mountain. Moses didn’t just show up because he demanded a meeting with God. God invited him up.
Would you be willing to wait six days for someone to arrive to an appointment they made? No! I sometimes have a hard time waiting 10 minutes. But God asks us to wait. Wait for Him to show up. Wait for Him to speak. Wait for Him to make His presence known.
Was God absent during that waiting time? No! He was right there on the mountain. Moses just couldn’t see or hear Him yet, but God was actually there. The Bible tells us that the presence of God was like a cloud on the mountain. The darkness and mist were actually manifestations of God’s presence. We may look at the darkness and think God is absent, but what if the darkness is actually a manifestation of His nearness?
So what can we learn from this? What lessons can we glean? Three application points stand out to me in this story.
Don’t be afraid of the darkness. Sometimes, that’s where God is. Moses had to enter the cloud and climb the mountain to commune with God. It was dark, it was lonely, but that’s where God met him.
Be prepared to wait. God wants to test our faith. And sometimes, He’ll do so by waiting. Waiting to reveal Himself. Waiting to act. Waiting to respond. Waiting to answer that prayer. Does He do this because He’s mean and sadistic? No! He wants to test our response, to see if we’ll trust Him and wait on Him. So God waits. He doesn’t show up right away, so He can see if we will trust Him and believe that He will act as He promised.
The watching world will think you’re crazy. What did the Israelites see when Moses went up on the mountain? They saw fire covering the mountain. I’m sure it looked crazy, dangerous, and scary. But that’s where God was. He was in the midst of the fire, in the midst of the darkness. The fire was actually the manifestation of His glory.
Did Moses see the fire when he was on the mountain? No. He just saw the cloud surrounding him, invading his space, cloaking him in darkness. But he went up in faith and waited with certainty that God would appear. And Moses’ trust was not disappointed. He spent forty days in the presence of the LORD. How precious that time must have been!
So let’s learn from Moses and faithfully, hopefully, and trustingly wait on God. It may be six days of darkness, six years of silence, or six months of nothing, but if we continue to wait and trust, we’ll see God move and work in ways we’ve never seen before. God will fulfill His promises. We just need to remember that His schedule and timeline is generally much different than ours.
Therefore, patiently wait. Don’t fear the darkness, and don’t worry about what others think. Just wait on the LORD and be prepared for an amazing encounter with the living God.
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