Knowing God--An Excerpt

The following is an excerpt from my book I Have Called You by Name.

(Based on Exodus 19:18-25)

The day began, unlike any other. Before the sun’s rays colored the sky, a rumbling was felt. People woke from their sleep, as the ground moved beneath them.

Animals, outside camp, protested: horses neighed, cattle bellowed, sheep and goats bleated, donkeys brayed.

Children whimpered.

Women hushed.

Men looked for the cause.

Lightning flashed and thunder resounded. Ash fell, coating everything.

Covering their heads with their arms, the people coughed the thick, smoke-filled air. Drawn to the mountaintop, they felt the heat of flames that shot far into the sky. White fire burned their eyes. Chunks of rock flew through the air. Pieces landed in the water, sizzling from its heat. Ash dusted the water with its fine powder and poured in the desert.

The mountain top was no more.

A smoking, black, ominous cloud hovered.

The people pushed against the hemp rope that protected them from touching the mountain.

A horn blasted, signaling all to meet Moses at the base of the mountain.

The people waited. Silent. Holding their breath. Would the fire consume them?

They had seen the glory of this God. It could not be contained. But this… this showed the power of their God. He could flatten a mountain peak by a single command.

Who could stand before this God?

The ground trembled like it could not support the power of this God Who stepped on it.

Were they ready for God’s presence? They looked to their clothes. Ash covered them. Soot streaked their faces. Chunks burned holes through their tents.

Who could stand before Him?

Then the Lord spoke, “Moses, come to Me.”

The people trembled. Would they see their leader again?

None stopped him. All watched in dread as Moses walked up the smoking, thundering, rumbling, shaking mountain.

Who was worthy to go before God’s presence and live?


Does listening to God entail all that every time? If so, have we ever heard the Lord speak? I know that I haven’t.     
Another excerpt of Moses’s experience is given below. This is after he returns from the smoking mountain and prepares to go back again. Zipporah is his wife.  

Zipporah clutched Moses’s cloak when he entered the dwelling. “You’re returning to the mountain?”

Moses nodded.

“You’ll come back?”

Moses drew her to himself. “We need the Lord’s words to bring peace to our hearts. I must hear what the Lord tells me.”

She leaned her head on his chest. “Why can’t someone else listen to what He says? Why must it always be you?”

“Maybe I listen better?” He laughed.

She did not. She held her tears back by a thread. “Yesterday, when the mountain shook and spewed smoke and fire, I feared for you. What would I do without you?

“Zipporah, I’ll return.”

“Can time stop? The sun stands still while you are gone. I watch and wait through all the dust and smoke as they fly through the air, but you do not return.”

“Being there with the Lord, Zipporah… I can’t explain it. Time stands still there, too. Time is not important. The past does not exist, the now, nor what will take place. It is all one.

“Night doesn’t come; fore the light is ever present. I don’t tire. I could stand before Him forever. I feel my littleness in His presence, for He is a great God. His presence surrounds me, upholds me. Does that make sense?”

Zipporah shook her head. How could he not know he was gone days? How could God’s presence make time not important?

“Not only time, but distance. Distance is swallowed like a cloud. I see far and near as if it’s all one. Is that how He sees?

“Time is nothing. Distance is close. And things lose their feeling of heaviness. I could carry a boulder if I had to. Its force would not weigh me down. His presence makes even burdens lighter.”

Zipporah looked into his eyes. She wished life was not so weary. Could her burdens be lifted by this God?

Moses’s face reflected light not his own. His eyes shone with energy that spoke of power and worship. “God gives me a glimpse at what He sees and makes me worship. I can do nothing else.”

Zipporah stroked his beard. “I see the smoke and fire, feel the tremor, and fear the Lord. How do I get this worship? It gives you peace.”

He was looking at the mountain. He didn’t hear her. It happened often.

She sighed.

He worshiped; she feared.

He focused on the mountain; she lived in the valley.

She rested her head on his chest. She would treasure this bit of time. Her worship was more tangible then a fire that smoked without fuel. She wished Moses would stay and make her time disappear instead of last forever.

An inadequate description of what time with God can be…

Is He becoming your friend? Are you learning to know Him?  Or is it just sending up distress signals?  It made me re-think what I called ‘praying.’       
Moses spent a year in Egypt praying for the needs of  God’s people while God showed His Name to the world. His closet was well worn by the knees of his tunic as he poured out his people’s suffering and called for help.         
Now he reaped the consequences. He found a Friend closer than any other. He found a hole filled by His Presence. Later in the text he begged to see God. God allowed Moses to see the back of God. No other man in the history of the world has been given that privilege. He fell to worship.       
I could give other excerpts of Moses’ experiences rendered by my imagination. But tell me your thoughts of prayer. Tell me what prayer has done for you. Share your testimony.

Displaying 1 comment

Christian greetings...Sonya. I am acquainted with your husband,He is a great guy.As to thoughts about prayer..In exodus 33:7-Moses pitched a tent...called, " tent of Meeting".The Lord went there to meet with Moses...Moses went to meet with th Lord.In the prayer tent Moses met with th Lord face to face..the young man, Joshua, stayed in the tent listening and watching how Moses and the Lord communicated.The Tabernacle of meeting was the womb that carried and birthed the next generation of leaders... Joshua Moses Successor.
KNOWING GOD..I have called you by name. Is really great.Its the kind of reading my Darling wife, Katheryne likes to read.I might suggest an added text of scripture to go with Exodus 19:18-25..You might just take a look. Isiah 43:1-7. I lay no claim to being an expert just a thought.
I believe that You are gifted of God to write.Look forward to reading more of what the Lord has given you, especially your thoughts on the roll of Women in relationship to their Husbands, Children,and society in general.

Would like to be able to spend more time with Joseph just visiting and talking about the Kingdom of God.

Looking forward to receiving your Email articles.

I am not computer savvy. can at least use the Email set up.


Pastor Joseph Thornton

I write about what you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what Him.
               Sonya Contreras

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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Tell of My Kingdom's Glory
Three Book Series