Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain. (Ex. 19:3)
Mount Sinai looms large over the barren stretches of the Sinai Peninsula. Known today as Jebel Musa (the mountain of Moses), its rugged slopes make it easy to imagine the awe of the ancient Israelites as thunder and lightning on its peaks heralded the presence of God.
But Moses isn’t the only biblical character associated with Mount Sinai. The prophet Elijah once fled there in fear of the infamous Jezebel. Not only had she refused to acknowledge Yahweh’s humiliation of Baal in the dramatic contest of the gods on Mount Carmel, but she had also threatened Elijah’s life. Discouraged and demoralized, Elijah put as much distance between himself and the evil queen as he could, finally holing up in a cave on Mount Sinai, some three hundred miles to the south.
God’s first words to him there were significant: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:9). This is not your mountain, God seemed to say. This is Moses’ mountain. Carmel is your mountain. I need you back in the battle against Ahab, Jezebel, and Baal.
Elijah’s problem was not spiritual but emotional. His fear and confusion had led him to a place where, literally, God couldn’t use him, but by God’s grace Elijah found his way back.
It’s possible to be in grace but out of place. God’s call embraces both for us.
Find your mountain and serve him there.
Bob Black is professor emeritus of religion at Southern Wesleyan University, where he served for thirty-two years. Along with Keith Drury, he co-authored the denominational history, The Story of The Wesleyan Church.
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.
Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.