Mountaintop Experiences


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A lesson about the highs and lows God's people sometimes face. See the whole lesson at:

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Mountaintop Experiences

  1. 1. Exodus 19:1-8 On the first day of the thirdmonth after the Israelites left Egypt—on thatvery day—they came to the Desert of Sinai …Then Moses went up to God, and the LORDcalled to him from the mountain and said, “Thisis what you are to say to the descendants ofJacob and what you are to tell the people ofIsrael: ‘You yourselves have seen what I did toEgypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wingsand brought you to myself. Now if you obey mefully and keep my covenant, then out of allnations you will be my treasured possession.
  2. 2. Although the whole earth is mine, youwill be forme a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’These are the words you are to speak to theIsraelites.” So Moses went back and summonedthe elders of the people and set before them allthe words the LORD had commanded him tospeak. The people all responded together, “Wewill do everything the LORD has said.” So Mosesbrought their answer back to the LORD.
  3. 3. Exodus 19:16-19 On the morning of the thirdday there was thunder and lightning, with athick cloud over the mountain, and a very loudtrumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled.Then Moses led the people out of the camp tomeet with God, and they stood at the foot ofthe mountain. Mount Sinai was covered withsmoke, because the LORD descended on it infire. The smoke billowed up from it like smokefrom a furnace, and the wholemountaintrembled violently. As the sound ofthe trumpet grew louder and louder, Mosesspoke and the voice of God answered him.
  4. 4. Exodus 32:7-8 Then the LORD said toMoses, “Go down, because your people, whomyou brought up out of Egypt, have becomecorrupt. They have been quick to turn awayfrom what I commanded them and have madethemselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf.They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to itand have said, ‘These are your gods, Israel, whobrought you up out of Egypt.’
  5. 5. Exodus 32:15, 19-20 Moses turned and wentdown the mountain with the two tablets of thecovenant law in his hands … When Mosesapproached the camp and saw the calf and thedancing, his anger burned and he threw thetablets out of his hands, breaking them topieces at the foot of the mountain. And he tookthe calf the people had made and burned it inthe fire; then he ground it to powder, scatteredit on the water and made the Israelites drink it.
  6. 6. 1 Kings 18:20-40 So Ahab sent wordthroughout all Israel and assembled theprophets on Mount Carmel. Elijah went beforethe people and said, “How long will you waverbetween two opinions? If the LORD isGod, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”But the people said nothing. Then Elijah said tothem, “I am the only one of the LORD’sprophets left, but Baal has four hundred andfifty prophets. Get two bulls for us. Let Baal’sprophets choose one for themselves, and letthem cut it into pieces and put it on the woodbut not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull
  7. 7. and put it on the wood but not set fire to it.Then you call on the name of your god, and Iwill call on the name of the LORD. The god whoanswers by fire—he is God.” Then all thepeople said, “What you say is good.” Elijah saidto the prophets of Baal, “Choose one of thebulls and prepare it first, since there are somany of you. Call on the name of your god, butdo not light the fire.” So they took the bullgiven them and prepared it. Then they calledon the name of Baal from morning till noon.“Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there wasno response; no one answered. And they
  8. 8. danced around the altar they had made. Atnoon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shoutlouder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps heis deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybehe is sleeping and must be awakened.” So theyshouted louder and slashed themselves withswords and spears, as was their custom, untiltheir blood flowed. Midday passed, and theycontinued their frantic prophesying until thetime for the evening sacrifice. But there was noresponse, no one answered, no one paidattention. Then Elijah said to all thepeople, “Come here to me.” They came to
  9. 9. repaired the altar of the LORD, which had beentorn down. Elijah took twelve stones, one foreach of the tribes descended from Jacob, towhom the word of the LORD hadcome, saying, “Your name shall be Israel.” Withthe stones he built an altar in the name of theLORD, and he dug a trench around it largeenough to hold two seahsof seed. He arrangedthe wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it onthe wood. Then he said to them, “Fill four largejars with water and pour it on the offering andon the wood.” “Do it again,” he said, and theydid it again. “Do it a third time,” he
  10. 10. time. The water ran down around the altar andeven filled the trench. At the time ofsacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forwardand prayed: “LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaacand Israel, let it be known today that you areGod in Israel and that I am your servant andhave done all these things at your command.Answer me, LORD, answer me, so these peoplewill know that you, LORD, are God, and that youare turning their hearts back again.” Then thefire of the LORD fell and burned up thesacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, andalso licked up the water in the trench. When all
  11. 11. they fell prostrate and cried, “The LORD—he isGod! The LORD—he is God!” Then Elijahcommanded them, “Seize the prophets of Baal.Don’t let anyone get away!” They seizedthem, and Elijah had them brought down to theKishon Valley and slaughtered there.
  12. 12. 1 Kings 19:1-4 Now Ahab told Jezebeleverything Elijah had done and how he hadkilled all the prophets with the sword. SoJezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “Maythe gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, ifby this time tomorrow I do not make your lifelike that of one of them.” Elijah was afraidandran for his life. When he came to Beersheba inJudah, he left his servant there, while hehimself went a day’s journey into thewilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat downunder it and prayed that he might die. “I havehad enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am
  13. 13. no better than my ancestors.”
  14. 14. Luke 9:28-33 … Jesus took Peter, John andJames with him and went up onto a mountainto pray. As he was praying, the appearance ofhis face changed, and his clothes became asbright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Mosesand Elijah, appeared in glorioussplendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke abouthis departure,which he was about to bring tofulfillment at Jerusalem. Peter and hiscompanions were very sleepy, but when theybecame fully awake, they saw his glory and thetwo men standing with him. As the men wereleaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it
  15. 15. is good for us to be here. Let us put up threeshelters—one for you, one for Moses and onefor Elijah.” (He did not know what he wassaying.)