How Close Do You Want to Get?
Most of Israel chose to remain in the outer courts of the temple, failing to draw near to God with their hearts. Today believers can walk right into the presence of God because Jesus tore the veil that opened up the way. It’s our right and privilege to do so, but will we heed the invitation? In today’s lessons we will look at the tangible Mount Sinai (where the Law was given) and Mount Zion(the heavenly city of God), which contrast the difference between the old and new covenant.
Read Exodus 19:20-24
1. Why couldn’t the people go up on Mount Sinai? Who was allowed to go up?
2. What would happen if the people forced their way up to the Lord?
Read Hebrews 12:18-21
3. What were the terrifying warnings and penalties of touching Mount Sinai?
Read Hebrews 12:22-24
4. How is Mount Zion described in these verses?
5. List what was waiting for those drawing close to God under the new covenant.
Notice that Mount Sinai is the law, while Mount Zion is grace. One says don’t come; the other, please come. One is fear; the other, joy. One is rigid rule; the other, freedom. One demands to keep a distance; the other says come close enough to kiss. It’s interesting that the word “worship” is interpreted in two different ways in the Hebrew and Greek. In the Old Testament, worship was defined as lowering one’s body to the ground to pay honor or reverence (Strong’s #7812). In the New Testament, the act of worship was defined as getting close enough to kiss, as a dog would lick his master’s hand (Strong’s #4352).
Picture this: Israel cringed in fear at a safe distance from the mountain while God gave Moses the law. We can bow at a safe distance in the same way today. But kissing requires very close contact. How close to you want to get to God? Close enough to escape judgment? Or close enough to kiss and attach your life to the King of Kings to rule your life. It’s here in that intimate communion with God that we experience abundant life. Intimacy with the King is a key to Kingdom living. Where do you prefer to live? How close do you want to get? Stop and think about that!