“Why is it so important that you are with God and God alone on the mountain top? It’s important because it’s the place in which you can listen to the voice of the One who calls you the beloved. To pray is to listen to the One who calls you “my beloved daughter,” “my beloved son,” “my beloved child.” To pray is to let that voice speak to the centre of your being, to your guts, and let that voice resound in your whole being. -Henri J.M. Nouwen
After reading this quote, I immediately made a correlation between this quote and Moses. Yes, Moses from the Bible. The point of similarity is within the opening sentence, Why is it so important that you are with God and God alone on the mountain top? The Book of Exodus highlights the life of Moses. For this particular message, I’ll focus on chapter 33 and 34 solely as points of reference. In these two chapters, we have Moses spending quality time with God on top Mount Sinai. He’s chiseling The Ten Commandments 2.0, he’s receiving sound instruction, he’s even asking God questions and scripture (Exodus 33:11) states, “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.”
How awesome is that? We are God’s friends.
But naturally, we’re wondering why Moses went alone? Why was it important for it to be just Moses and God? We know that the Israelites would spoil the mood, I can hear them now, “Moses, you know these sandals weren’t made for hiking!” So it makes sense that they were left behind, but what about Joshua (Moses’ assistant)? He was going to take Moses’ place of leadership anyway!
To answer this question, I’m going to expand on the insightful thought of Mr. Nouwen, “…It’s important because it’s the place in which you can listen to the voice of the One who calls you the beloved.”
But first, I want to address the mountain top metaphor. Surely, Mr. Nouwen isn’t implying that we all need to stand on a mountain top to channel our connection with God. If that were the case, well that’s insignificant. The answer to the metaphor is found in the Bible. Mount Sinai was a sacred place- a safe place.
It was alone in this sacred place that God was able to talk to Moses as a friend. Moses didn’t need to bring his family, the Israelites, his pet (I doubt he had one)- just himself. And God expects the same from us. We must be willing to step away from the familiar, briefly step away from our loved ones and find our sacred place to just listen to what our Father has to say.