Coming Down the Mountain

Spiritual highs are only temporary.

In 1515, Michelangelo completed a marble sculpture of an old but muscular Moses with the Ten Commandments under his arm. Tourists are often shocked to see what appear to be devilish horns protruding from Moses' head.

The horns are traced to a mistranslation of Exodus 34. After Moses met with the Lord on Sinai, the people were afraid because "the skin of his face shone." The Hebrew word for beam of light was mistranslated into Latin as "horns." So when Michelangelo read his Bible, he believed the people were frightened because Moses had grown horns while with God.

Today we no longer depict Moses with horns, but a misunderstanding of his mountaintop experience remains. According to 2 Corinthians 3, Moses did not hide his face because the people were frightened, but to hide the fact that the glory of God was fading. Whatever transformation he experienced in God's presence was temporary, and the veil hid its transient nature. Moses' mountaintop experience was genuine, glorious, and full of God's ...

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