Fresh off the Exodus from Egypt, the Israelites cross the Red Sea and head into the wilderness for a meeting with God. He brings them to himself at Mount Sinai. This sort of thing has happened between individuals and God before (Adam and Eve; Noah; Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; Moses; etc.). But this is the first time in scripture that a whole group of people will enter God’s presence. It’s a hint, a bit of foreshadowing, a clue of what’s to come: God will eventually lead the Israelites to a Promised Land. But it won’t just be a nice place for them to live. Instead, he will live there with them too, and their encounter with God at Mount Sinai is preparation for that, preparation to eventually live in God’s presence on another mountain–Mount Zion.