Mount Sinai or Mount Calvary?

I’m sure most of you are more Bible scholarly than I am but when I learn something that I’ve read a zillion times and then bam, it reveals something else – I get amazed, once again to the awesomeness of God.

Reader alert: I am in a very ugly place right now – sad, mad, scared…that’s me, so I’m not even sure where this writing will go but there is definitely something that needs to come out. Hope you’ll stick with me. I may edit out the really ughly things…

Let’s talk about Moses, shall we? Don’t get me wrong, I love Moses – but he was rather wimpish at times. Ran away after he murdered someone – sought refuge in the desert of Midian.  He was there long enough to marry and have a couple of sons – 40 years to be exact. And then one day he was minding his own business, tending the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, who just happened to be the priest of Midian. He took the sheep…

to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb [aka SINAI], the mountain of G-d. Exodus 3.1

Remember the story? Burning bush? Angel of the Lord? Why isn’t the fire consuming the bush? Read it all here. My favorite take-away from this portion of Scripture?

“Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground.  I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God. (3.5-6)

The rest is history, right? But, I want to “go around this mountain” again…join me?

Exactly two months after the Israelites left Egypt, they arrived in the wilderness of Sinai.  After breaking camp at Rephidim, they came to the wilderness of Sinai and set up camp there at the base of Mount Sinai. Exodus 19.1-2

Hmm…Moses, you’ve been to this mountain before, haven’t you? You saw God’s glory there – in the fire that just could not/would not consume the bush. Remember? Look familiar?

We are all so familiar with this story, aren’t we? We know how the rebellious, stiff-necked Israelites behaved, don’t we?



Whining for food.

Golden calf.

In Exodus 24.1-8, God tells Moses to gather his men and come to the Mount; early in the morning Moses built an altar at the foot of the mountain Sinai and took half of the blood of the gathered sacrifices and sprinkled it ON THE PEOPLE saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you according to all these words.”

God was ready to take them to The Promised Land (Exodus 33) – They were leaving Mt. Sinai to go to freedom, the freedom Jehovah Himself promised. Y’all read Exodus 33 and let it permeate into your spirit.

40 more years – around Mount Sinai.

WE know the rest of the story, don’t we? Round and round they went. Round and round I go.

I grew up singing a hymn about Mount Calvary yet the Gospels NEVER refer to the place of Jesus’ crucifixion as MOUNT. Calvary is on a hill that looks like a skull, outside the city of Jerusalem. It wasn’t a lovely place – it was a place of torture, death, and sadness. The place our Savior was taken after being on trial, beaten to a bloody pulp, with a crossbeam on His back. The mount where the nine-inch nails were pounded into His hands and feet. The mount where sweat and blood flowed from the thorny crown jammed into His head.

That mount – that place called Mount Calvary.

The blood of bulls and rams and goats was sprinkled at Mt. Sinai.

The blood of the One and Only Beloved Son of God was poured out on Mt. Calvary.

Why do I wander round and round the mountain of self-pity and disobedience when I can have the freedom and victory Christ died to give me on Mount Calvary.

At which mountain do you find yourself standing? Which mountain do I?

Lord, help my unbelief.

About the author : Susan Shipe

Susan Shipe

I am an encourager with a heart for women. The Lord delivered a message of hope deep within my soul in 2002. Jesus, the Hope-giver met me in my hour of need and my heart overflowed with hope – the theme of my life since that time has been HOPE! I began blogging in 2008 and became serious in the fall of 2010 when I hired a site designer! Hope|Heart|Home are my three passions and one can find food for the soul, and the body, along with a lot of musing over at I am the mother of three adult children, grandmother (a/k/a Mimzy) to 20-year old Hannah and 14-year old Simon, and I am the wife of one man and together we love on our beloved dog, Sam! My husband, Lowell, and I attend Community Church in Mountain City, Tennessee. I enjoy writing, reading, organic gardening, traveling, and spending time with our family.

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