The Sinai Peninsula is shaped like an upside-down triangle, bounded on the east by the Red Sea and on the west by the Gulf of Aqaba. Near the southern point, devoid of vegetation, Mount Sinai’s craggy peak rises 7000 feet above the surrounding dessert. Descriptive of the area, it’s also called Horeb, which can be translated “waste” or “wilderness.”
It was at Sinai, or “Horeb, the Mountain of God” (Exodus 3:1), that God revealed Himself to Moses in the Burning Bush. “Moses, Moses! ... Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground ... I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (Exodus 3:4–6, CSB).
In the battle against the Amalekites, Joshua went to the school of prayer. At the prestigious University of Mount Sinai, he got an advanced degree in worship.
With all Israel camped at the foot of the mountain, “Moses arose with his assistant Joshua and went up the mountain of God... The glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day he called to Moses from the cloud. The appearance of the Lord’s glory to the Israelites was like a consuming fire on the mountaintop. Moses entered the cloud as he went up the mountain, and he remained on the mountain forty days and forty nights” (Exodus 24:13–18, CSB). Joshua faithfully watched and witnessed as “the Lord would speak with Moses face to face, just as a man speaks with his friend” (Exodus 33:11, CSB).
With a million emancipated slaves to choose from, God picked Joshua to serve as Moses’ assistant. Why Joshua? Beats me! When the new day dawns, we can ask Him.
Here’s a better question: Why did an Infinitely Holy God choose me? Or you? Why did the King of kings invite us into His Perfectly Pure Presence? He does.
“Let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16, CSB). “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, CSB). “Abide in me, and I in you... If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:4–7, ESV).
It doesn’t require a pilgrimage to Sinai. It’s just a few steps to your closet, to that quiet place where you can enter His presence. With your Bible open and with a receptive heart, you can communicate “face to face, just as a man speaks with his friend.” You can enter the glorious presence of a Loving Father, a Compassionate Savior, an Empowering Spirit.
Try this. Get alone with God and read Psalm 46. First, you will want to remove your sandals... you’re stepping into holy territory.
“God is (my) refuge and strength, (my) very present help in trouble. We will not fear though the earth gives way... (I’ll) be still, and know that (you are) God. (You) will be exalted among the nations, (You) will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:1–10, ESV).