Listening to Exodus on cd, the other day, I heard this Scripture. God is instructing Moses in how to build an altar to the Most High God that no tool should be used on the large stones of the altar. And then God admonishes Moses in 20:25, “Neither should you go up by steps to My altar that your nakedness be not exposed upon it.” I thought that a most fascinating command by God to Moses. So I inquired of Sara why did God not want the people or rather, priests, to make steps up to His altar? Her answer was quite enlightening (which is one of her gifts). She said, and I paraphrase, ‘because man cannot make his own way up to God. He cannot make his own steps up to the Most High God. It has to be done HIS way.’ I thought about the truth of that for quite a bit.
You know the people of SHINAR tried to build a tower to heaven and the Lord God divided them into languages and tribes to frustrate that man-made, man-oriented , man-serving project at BABEL. Heaven, indeed!!
And, in meditating over and over on that Scripture and what Sara said, I thought about the song that was pretty popular a few years ago by Led Zeppelin, STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN.
SOME of the lyrics go like this:
“There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold
And she’ buying the stairway to heaven
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for.
Ooh..she’s building the stairway to heaven
If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now
It’s just a spring clean for your May queen
Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There’s still time to change the road you’re on
And it makes me wonder.
The piper’s calling you to join him
dear lady can you hear the wind blow and did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind….
And she’s building the stairway to heaven.”
This sad lady’s stairway that she is building is built on the wind, and not the wind of the Holy Spirit, either.
Sara wrote a song a few years ago, too, that even better demonstrate not only the command of the Lord God in Exodus, but also what Led Zeppelin’s STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN was trying to say. Here are SOME of Sara’s lyrics:
JESUS IS WAITING THERE
“There are so many that have crossed the road
They’ve crossed the road to their wealth, or so they say
But they have missed the path, the path the Savior walked
To endure, to endure to the last.
I’m waiting there at the door of your soul
To release the chains of your pain
So hear Me when I say come back to Me my child
Come back to Me to the place of My rest.
Look up! look up! past the days of gloom
And let My mourning Dove arise in your heart
You’ll find I’m there and waiting for your call
Saying Oh Jesus, I want to come back home.”
That’s the STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN, not made with human hands but with the sacred wood of the Cross of Christ. That’s the ONLY STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN.
17 thoughts on “Stairway to Heaven”
Reading your blog, MG, brought to mind that Jesus is the stone, the only One, the only Way to God.
“He is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:11, 12
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
the scripture that came to mind is John 14: 6 “Jesus told him ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to to Father except through me”
Oh, it looks as if the same scripture came to Debi’s mind. Let me share the footnotes for this verse: ” Jesus says he is the only way to God the Father. Some people may argue that this way is too narrow. In reality, it is wide enough for the whole world, if the world chooses to accept it. Instead of worrying about how limited it sounds to have only one way, we should be saying, ‘Thank you, God, for providing a sure way to get to you!’ As the way, Jesus is our path to the Father, As the truth, he is the reality of all God’s promises. As the life, he joins his divine life to ours, both now and eternally. Jesus is, in truth, the only living way to the Father.”
Here are the footnotes for Exodus 20:24-26, read with me: “Why were specific directions given for building altars? God’s people had no Bible and few religious traditions to learn from. God had to start from scratch and teach them how to worship him. God gave specific instructions about building altars because he wanted to control the way sacrifices were offered. To prevent idolatry from creeping into worship, God did not allow the altar stones to be cut or shaped into any form. Nor did God let the people build an altar just anywhere. This was designed to prevent them from starting their own religions or making changes in the way God wanted things done. God is not against creativity, but he is against us creating our own religion.”
I love the footnotes from Needles’ Bible that says, “God is not against creativity, be He is against us creating our own religion.” Fine line.
All our scriptures and comments seem to dovetail this truth, don’t you think?
MG used two songs to contrast this truth. I thought of another song that I hear often on Gaither’s radio shows. “It’s a highway to heaven, none can walk up there, but the pure in heart. It’s a highway to heaven, walking up the King’s highway.
Well, my road is wider, my load is lighter
Walking up the King’s highway
Well, Jesus to guide me, His angels beside me
Walking up the King’s highway…”
Anyway we look at it we don’t get to the throne of God where the living waters flow in our own strength or ideas but there is a way. “The pure in heart…”
So often I ponder how religion and politics mirror one another. Our political agenda as it so often seems so empty and unattached to an anchor. So it is with religion unattached to an Anchor.
In religion we have creative skills, talents and gifts that we believe comes from an Anchor. Yet when we use them and get the least bit of praise we at times un-anchor. We lose sight of the cornerstone, yes, the chief cornerstone. Luke 20:17, Jesus asked? “Then what is the meaning of that which is written: “‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’?
In religion we love using our skills and tools to build our steps to praise for ourselves. Then our motives are revealed when we have no platform to hang a wreath of praise around our neck. And, no anchor that holds when the platform under our feet has diminished.
If you feel you need to connect or reconnect to The Anchor because your steps have collapsed beneath you I invite you to listen to Donnie Sumner, one of Elvis’s singers and make a decision to anchor to the One that holds. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0qkH8N_hA8
When I think of steps to God’s altar, steps to pursuing God, I get a mental picture of footprints and remembered Sara’s book, “Dressing for His Glory,” the subject of study for 2009 Daily Lily Retreat.
In ‘Lesson 4, The Garden of the Lord’, is a picture of footprints…steps into God’s Garden. The way to Him is shown to us by taking these steps, “Deny yourself, take up your cross, follow Me.” Luke 9:23,24
I wanted to share another part of that Scripture where the Lord told Moses NOT to make steps up to HIS altar “so that one’s nakedness not be exposed upon it.” Sara’s response to that scripture AND MY UNDERSTANDING AND PARAPHRASING OF IT was that “when we stand before the Lord.”..the altar or the Bema Seat or the Judgment Seat of Christ, “all our inner motives, thoughts, intents and purposes of our hearts will be exposed.”….before the Lord and the spiritual Body of Christ.
That will be the” Nakedness” that is exposed.
We had better cling to the Cross of Christ, keep ouselves pure and walk up the KING’S HIGHWAY HIS STAIRWAY) TO
When studying one of Beth Moore’s studies, I learned about a segment of the Levites known as the Korah were anointed and blessed by the Lord God at the building and setting up of the altar. They were the ones to move the altar through the wilderness. One day a group of them decided they were holy enough and they didn’t need to be under the authority of Moses and they wanted to do Aaron’s job. Moses said basically why can’t you just be content with what God has given you to do, stay steady? (Found in Numbers 4 and 16). God revealed their inner motives. God opened the earth and all were swallowed all up alive. There ancestors learned from their fathers mistakes and became praisers of God in David’s time as seen in Psalms 84.
Psalm 84 (New International Version)
For the director of music. According to gittith. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm. [a]
1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD Almighty!
2 My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.
5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools. [b]
7 They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.
8 Hear my prayer, O LORD God Almighty;
listen to me, O God of Jacob.
9 Look upon our shield, [c] O God;
look with favor on your anointed one.
10 Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.
12 O LORD Almighty,
blessed is the man who trusts in you.
“I’m waiting there at the door of your soul…from song “Jesus is Waiting there” MG quoted in blog makes me cry from my heart. I don’t need to build anything to find God. Just say yes, yes Lord and He is there. And, the songs sings, Jesus is waiting there…” To release the chains of your pain…” Stop building sand castles, struggling with situations with seemly no answers and acknowledge the One with the answers and the help, comfort and joy that goes with the answer.
Thanks for reminding us to sing, “Jesus is Waiting there, yes, waiting at the doors of our souls and our inner motives can be purified by spiritual dialysis if we connect to the purifier. The blood Jesus gave at Calvary.
Charles Wesley understood, Jesus is Waiting there, at the door of your soul…
I love the lyric of Wesley’s hymn especially where it says, “my atonement is written in His hands. It reminds me of the Scripture in Isaiah 49: 16 that says we are engraved in the palms of His hands. Some translations say we are “tattooed” on the palms of His hands.
Both Sara’s song and Wesley’s show such a beautiful picture of communication of the Father and the Son to us.
God’s resounding ‘Yes’ to the price Jesus paid on that cross in Wesley’s hymn …
‘His Spirit answers to the blood’.
And then Jesus’ answer to us…
‘You’ll find I’m there and waiting for your call’ inviting us to participate in their communication.
Thanks for shring both songs.
Another chorus that echoes the sentiments of the above songs is ..
HE WAS THERE ALL THE TIME
He was there all the time
He was there all the time
Waiting patiently in line’
He was there all the time.
Sometimes, it makes me cry & repent to think that I have put off the Lord and Savior of my soul for a time while I do my own thing. It reminds me of Chickenfarmer’s blog, FIRST FRUITS OR LEFTOVERS.
It also occurred to me that another way to ascend the Stairway to Heaven is to climb up, upon the cross, suffer the crucifixion of our sins of the flesh and thought-life and be resurrected with the living Christ. This is a daily martyrdom of the selfish, self-promoting, self-aggrandizing life of the flesh, exclusively materialistic outlook of life.
Yes MG, As Sara’s song says…Jesus is waiting there…He stands at the door of our soul, our heart, knocking, knocking…
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” Rev 3:20
When I think of a “stairway up to Heaven” I think of the three cross. The middle one is the one with our savior on it, the “key to the doorway to Heaven” There is a cross on each side of the master key to Heaven. (John 23:39-43 “One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed,”So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself-and us, too, while you’re at it!” 40 But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? 41 We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” 43 And Jesus replied, ” I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Two crosses representing two doors. One door rejects Jesus and leads to Hell. The other door accepts Jesus and leads to Heaven. It doesn’t matter “what a good person we are, the good deeds we do, how rich we are, how successful we are….. Without Jesus we will never open the door that leads to the “stairway to Heaven”. Without Jesus we will live eternity in Hell. Jesus is the “master key” to the door to Heaven. Jesus is the only key to the door to Heaven. Luke 9:23-25″Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. 24 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.25 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?” John 14:6 “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” Jesus is the Key to Heaven…
CF, I agree with you. Jesus is the key, the gate, the door, the way, the hope and all that is needed to ascend the steps to heaven. How do we make Him so clear and inviting to others like someone made it clear to us that they do want to ascend the staircase? It really hurts a lot when you see ones that have not faith in the key to heaven.