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Posts Tagged ‘Mount Zion’

Two mountains which figure prominently in the Bible when taken together, represent the character of God. One mountain is characterized by a consuming fire. On that mountain, God displayed His judgment and His holiness. The other mountain is characterized by blood and sacrifice. On that mountain, God displayed His consuming love and mercy.

Mount Sinai

Mount Sinai is the backdrop for Israel’s receipt of the Law. Sinai is where God met Moses and is primarily characterized by fire:

  • Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. Exodus 19:18
  • The sight of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel. Exodus 24:17
  • Then you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire to the midst of heaven, with darkness, cloud, and thick darkness. Deuteronomy 4:11
  • The LORD talked with you face to face on the mountain from the midst of the fire. Deuteronomy 5:4
  • Then the LORD delivered to me two tablets of stone written with the finger of God, and on them were all the words which the LORD had spoken to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly. Deuteronomy 9:10

Mount Zion

The other mountain is Mount Zion (found within the land given to the tribe of Judah). Mt. Zion was sometimes called The City of David, and descriptions of Mt. Zion paint a very different picture from those describing Mt. Sinai:

  • Remember Your congregation, which You have purchased of old, The tribe of Your inheritance, which You have redeemed-This Mount Zion where You have dwelt. Psalm 74:2
  • But chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion which He loved. Psalm 78:68
    Those who trust in the LORD Are like Mount Zion, Which cannot be moved, but abides forever. Psalm 125:1
  • And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, As the LORD has said, Among the remnant whom the LORD calls. Joel 2:32
  • Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. Revelation 14:1

Paul makes the case for the two mountains in his letter to the Hebrews:

For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. . . . 

And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”)
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. Hebrews 12:18-24

It is the same God of both mountains, so we must keep both mountains in view:

Mount Sinai – where God laid down His law, a place of judgment.
Mount Zion – where God laid down His life, a perfect sacrifice, a place of love, grace, mercy and forgiveness.

Hear, Isra’el! Adonai our God, Adonai is one.

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