After our Israelite forefathers passed through the waters of the Sea of Reeds, they were awe struck as to what their Almighty Elohim did for them. They were now filled with what is called in Hebrew “yir’at Adonai” - the fear of YHVH. Later, when they came to Mount Sinai, again, this Elohim demonstrated His presence through fire, smoke, loud sounds and quaking earth. But this time, although their physical senses were stirred by this outward demonstration, as it was awesome and fearful, it did not affect the condition of their hearts. The proof of the ancestral rebellion (inherent in Adam’s family) was evident in them. Thus, even though called to be a priestly nation unto YHVH, the Israelites turned out to be no different than any other people group in the human family. YHVH’s love, sovereign calling and anointing upon their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel, was the reason why He wrought redemption out of slavery for them and why He brought them to the Mountain and beyond. All through the Torah He declares that what He was doing for Israel was for His namesake, as Moses, for example, recollects in Deuteronomy:
"Therefore understand today that YHVH your Elohim is He who goes over before you as a consuming fire… Do not think in your heart, after YHVH your Elohim has cast them out before you, saying, 'Because of my righteousness YHVH has brought me in to possess this land'; but because of the wickedness of these nations that YHVH your Elohim drives them out from before you, and that He may fulfill the word which YHVH swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (Deuteronomy 9:3-5). As we know from the Gospel accounts, YHVH, again, for the sake of His name “disarmed principalities and powers, making a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in Him [Yeshua the Messiah]” (Colossians 2:15).
The descriptions of the Israelite nation and its exploits were intended for our instructions (see 1 Corinthians 10: 5-11). So what have we learned about them that is now going to take us Beyond the Mountain? It is not hard to assess. The ‘bottom line’ is, as YHVH Himself says it: “You are a stubborn and obstinate people”. What does that mean other than being selfish, self-centered, proud, self-righteous, still attached to the flesh, gratifying its desires, and quickly forgetting the reverence that is due His name? As soon as it seems to us that we lack some physical need or comfort the “fear of YHVH” along with the knowledge of Elohim and His wisdom disappears like the morning mist. In that we are just like our ancestors. Instead of wielding the power to overcome our flesh and spiritual enemies, we are succumbing to the same influences and temptations on a daily basis. In his book “Apostolic Foundations”, Art Katz speaks to these tendencies: “Our little impatient moods, our critical spirits, our irritations with one another are already evidence of how little prepared we are for the cosmic struggle before us.”
So, what is it that will make us different than our forebears, and will help us move Beyond the Mountain?
It is incumbent upon us to own to the all-time truth that, our struggle is not against flesh and blood. In other words, we are not one another’s enemy. It is time to no longer be babes, tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine, which causes us to be in strife and contention with one another as we contend for our “rightness” or “correctness”. In Joshua 5:9 YHVH tells Joshua that He has “rolled [a verb connected to dung-ball-like idols] away the reproach of Egypt” off of Israel. We too need to roll back the flesh (the dung balls of this world and its religions) and get on with the spiritual battles that we can only win when we are in the unity of the faith, believing what the Father has already accomplished by being present in Messiah, reconciling the world unto Himself (ref. 2 Corinthians 5:17).
What we need to take from the history of our Israelite ancestors, is not so much about them, but about the Elohim who has brought their progeny (us) through thousands of years of faithfulness, love, and mercy and will continue to do so until He fulfills all that has been spoken by the mouths of the prophets of old, and on into the future of the millennial kingdom where the redeemed and restored nation of Israel will rule with Him for a thousand years. Then the reality of the following words of Isaiah will become clearly evident: "’Come, and let us go up to the mountain of YHVH, to the house of the Elohim of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the Torah, and the word of YHVH from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. ‘O house of Jacob, come and let us walk In the light of YHVH’” (Isaiah 2:3-5).