May 25: 20 Iyar
It was on this day that Israel left the vicinity of Mt. Sinai as they made their way to the Promised Land. There is a misconception of sorts that Israel left Egypt to go to the land of Canaan. However, the Scripture makes it clear that it was always God’s intention to first bring them to Mt. Sinai. Before they could go into the land of Canaan, they had to receive God’s instructions for living at the mountain. It’s at the mountain, not in Canaan, where Israel received their unique identity as a “peculiar treasure.”
“Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” (Exodus 19: 5-6)
Understanding that this was spoken to and about Israel of old, nevertheless, it makes sense that identity is bestowed upon God’s people, today. More specifically, when you consider that so many believers are discovering the Hebrew roots of the faith, we could conclude that Sinai is, once again, playing a significant role in the lives of His people. The Creator is bringing us into the understanding that, because we are His people, there is a particular way that we are to live our lives. That principle was established, and His Ten Commandments were given to us at Mount Sinai. Living according to His standards is how we are deemed to be that “peculiar treasure” and holy nation.
The Bible also indicates that Sinai will play another significant role in the future of His people. In Hosea 2, He foretold of a day when He would bring His people back into the wilderness, just as it was when He brought them out of the land of Egypt:
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her and will bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfort to her. I will give her, her vineyards from there and the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; she shall sing there as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.” (Hosea 2:14-15)
The question that arises in my mind about this Scripture is, “Should we interpret this as being literal or figurative?” Most likely, its both. Another question is, “Will this occur in our lifetime or is it something that will occur in the future?” Again, I think the answer is both. By that I mean to say that, all of us in some form, will go into the proverbial wilderness where the distractions of “Egypt” are behind us. In the wilderness, God becomes our only source and our sole objective. In the wilderness, we can more plainly hear His voice when He speaks. Perhaps we could look at this way: God leads us into the wilderness so that He may have our undivided attention. He leads us into the wilderness so that we may receive instruction and be brought into the bond of the covenant (Ezekiel 20). As we grow in His Word, we are equipped to make the crooked paths straight in anticipation of those who are going to follow us out of “Egypt” and come to the mountain of God, to hear His voice speak to them.
Sinai has always played a significant role in the lives of God’s people and will continue to do so, both literally and figuratively. The essence of Sinai is about God teaching us how to live and, consequently, equipping us to show others how they should live, too. If we are embracing His Word today, we are better suited to be a light to others tomorrow.