Moses makes interesting reading, especially when you consider Mount Sinai and Moses meeting the Lord on top of that mountain. You read that “…the glory of the Lord abode upon Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days; and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. And the sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel” (Exodus 24:16,17)
The interesting thing about the devouring fire here and the cloud that would also appear with it is that Moses and the children of Israel would throughout their journeys in the wilderness have a lot to do with a cloud and fire and you could say that the whole thing started with a fire, that fire being the burning bush, so we’re not talking about an ordinary fire here or an ordinary cloud but this fire could turn into either fire or a cloud and it would move around of its own accord and they were also led of this cloud. It appears to have appeared to them as a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day so you take this literally that it appeared as a pillar and pillars are usually the mainstay of a building that holds up the whole roof so you picture this pillar here being in that same sense, the Lord. We later on find out that it was an angel who was leading them and this angel was looking after them and protecting them because when Pharaoh came after them and pursued them to the Red Sea, God had opened the sea whilst at the same time this pillar of fire was a light unto the children of Israel and darkness to the Egyptians. That darkness must have been very dark because the Egyptians couldn’t pursue them and so here we have Moses, he’s on his way up Mount Sinai, he appears to go so far up with Arron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel and then we read here that they have a kind of a glimpse into the spiritual dimension you could say, or better said, the spiritual reality of God Himself and so we read that it says “And they saw the God of Israel; and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.” (Exodus 24.10)
So quite an incredible glimpse into the spiritual reality of God and quite a sense of the absolute purity of God’s presence – and speaking more of God’s heavenly presence here – heaven of course is another realm, another dimension, and another reality other than the physical reality of the mere mountain that they were standing on so a definite sense of God’s dwelling place being more in the spiritual than in the physical, though sapphires are clear as the clear blue sky. It doesn’t appear that He calls these elders up any further but He does call Moses up and we read that it says (verse 12) “And the Lord said unto Moses, come up to me INTO the mountain, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.” And then Moses rises up and then we read that he, 13. “…went up INTO the mount of God.” And then we read again, 15. “And Moses went up INTO the mount, and a cloud covered the mount.” And again we read, 18. “And Moses went INTO the midst of the cloud, and gat him up INTO the mount: and Moses was IN the mount forty days and forty nights.” Well, word has it that there are no caves on the top of Mount Sinai and there are no secret passageways on the top of the mountain there and there certainly isn’t any paved work of a Sapphire stone up there that appears as the body of heaven in his clearness so a very strange situation indeed you might say. God calls Moses up INTO the top of the mountain and it appears that the God of Israel is stood on a paved work of a sapphire stone.
When you go back to Moses’ first encounter with God at the burning bush, Moses is told to not draw nigh hither because the place where he is standing is Holy ground, he appears to have been able to draw closer to God by taking his shoes off of his feet because the Lord had said, “…draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” So here we have Moses on the top of a mountain and the Lord calls him up INTO the mountain and it would appear that the only way INTO that mountain is to tread on the same sapphire stones that the Lord Himself is stood upon, and then you can only assume that Moses entered into some other reality that we don’t understand, we do read that it says he went INTO the top of this mountain to talk with God and Moses in his conversation with God was given lengthy and detailed instructions of how the children of Israel should conduct their affairs in both their services and worship of God and even on how to make and build the tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant etc. this all and including being given the Ten Commandments written by God Himself on two tablets of stone. To add to the drama here, Moses doesn’t go INTO the mountain forty days and forty nights only once but he also does it a second time for further forty days and forty nights, and whilst IN the top of this mountain and in the presence of God we also read that he didn’t eat or drink for forty days and forty nights and you assume that this is true here on both occasions and yet when Moses reappears on the second occasion we read that his face shone, so much so that people were afraid to even look at his face or even to come near him. So it goes on to say that on the one hand he puts a veil on his face to speak to the children of Israel but then we read in chapter 34:34 “But when Moses went IN before the Lord to speak with him, he took the veil off, until he came OUT. And he came OUT, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded. And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone: and Moses put the veil upon his face again, until he went to speak with him (God).”
So all being said here, we see that there is a spiritual dimension and that there are spiritual realities that none of us can quite explain and of how Moses went IN to the top of a mountain and appears to also go in and out of this dimension or reality or Spirit of God, or going into a cloud as they explained it, remember here not to picture an ordinary earthly cloud, and then you have this devouring fire on top of the mount, and again, remember not to picture ordinary earthy fire, they just explained what they saw as best they could with earthly physical things like fire and clouds and Moses going INTO the mountain and coming OUT of the mountain and his face shining and again here, not shining with an earthy light but shining with a spiritual light so what we can pull from all of this is a reality of the spiritual, that there is a very spiritual God Who wishes to communicate with us all and all of this played out in the Old Testament to bring to our attention this very REAL REALITY and so very very encouraging for us all to know that we are not all alone here, that there is a God in heaven and that the God of heaven came to earth on the top of Mount Sinai back in the days of Moses.
Moses also said that someone would come in the future that would be like him, that Someone was Jesus and Jesus’ face also shone like the sun when His disciples saw Him talking to Moses even though Moses had died thousands of years before that – and that’s what it’s all about, to give us all the spiritual reality of a very REAL God and salvation through His Son Jesus!