When God Meets Man on Mount Moriah

God has never owed man a meeting. Yet throughout history, God has chosen various times and places for such encounters. And the places God chooses to meet man reveal a lot about God's nature and His purposes.

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Take Mount Moriah for example. It's where God told Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac. And then at the last minute, God stopped it from happening. But it foreshadowed the sacrifice which our heavenly Father would later carry out at the expense of His only Son for the sins of the world.

King David also met God on Mount Moriah. David had made an unwise decision to take a census of his troops, and it greatly offended the Lord. David's pride fueled his decision, and God's judgment against sin brought about the consequences. (see 1 Chronicles 21:1-30) While the angel of the Lord was carrying out God's punishment, it was there at Mount Moriah where "the Lord saw it and was grieved because of the calamity and said to the angel who was destroying the people, 'Enough! Withdraw your hand.' The angel of the Lord was then standing at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite." (1 Chron. 21:15)

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The punishment came to a stop right there on that holy ground. It was where Abraham had taken Isaac. And it was now the place where David would fall facedown in repentance before the Lord. "David built an altar to the Lord there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. He called on the Lord, and the Lord answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering. Then the Lord spoke to the angel, and he put his sword back into its sheath." (1 Chron. 21:26,27)

In other words, God's judgment and mercy came together there on Mount Moriah. And it allowed man to meet with God in a special way. As in the case of Abraham and Isaac, a sacrifice was a big part of the story when David met with God on Mount Moriah. Sin and grace. Repentance and forgiveness. And all of it pointing to the day when "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29) would make a one-time sacrifice for sins "once and for all." (1 Peter 3:18)

First Abraham, and then David. But God wasn't through meeting with man on Mount Moriah. David's son, Solomon, had his own appointment on this holy ground. It would become the place where Solomon would build the first temple. "Then Solomon began to build the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord appeared to his father David. It was on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite." (2 Chron. 3:1)

In the New Testament, believers have now become God's "temple." The apostle Paul wrote, "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple." (1 Cor. 3:16)

And so today, God meets with man in His temple. That is, on the inside of a believer's body, as well as in the fellowship of believers when Christians meet together. For 2000 years, Christians have "devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." (Acts 2:42) And in so doing, God has met with His people on a daily basis.

God is omnipresent, and His grace is available to you right where you live. But it will require the faith of Abraham, the repentance of David, the temple of Solomon in the Person of the Holy Spirit, and the blood of Christ's sacrifice which was carried out so man could meet with God and be forgiven.

Will you do what David did and bow before the Lord in repentance for your sins against Him? And will you trust that Christ's death on the cross is the one way you as a sinner may approach a holy God? After all, not one of us is even close to pure enough for such a meeting. That is, until the righteousness of Christ is covering our soul and our sin through faith.

"For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; He entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God's presence. Nor did He enter heaven to offer Himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him." (Hebrews 9:24-28)

From the time Abraham stood on Mount Moriah, until Judgment Day itself, God's meetings with man have always involved sacrifice, judgment, grace, blood, faith, repentance, God's glory, and God's love for man. The ways of God are multidimensional. You will never box Him in, but you can meet with Him. You can know Him because of the love He has for you and the sacrifice Christ made for you.

If you will meet God at the cross today in repentance and faith, your body will instantly become a temple of the Holy Spirit. Whereas Solomon built the first temple for the Lord, today God offers to bring the temple to you.

And while God has never owed man a meeting, He nevertheless arranges such appointments everyday. Are you willing to meet with your Creator and Redeemer? God is a lot closer to you today than you may realize.

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Wellspring Lutheran Church in Papillion, Neb. He is a regular contributor to The Christian Post.

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