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The Mountain Of The LORD


Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
that the mountain of the LORD'S house
shall be established on the top of the mountains,
and shall be exalted above the hills;
and peoples shall flow to it.
Many nations shall come and say,
"Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways,
and we shall walk in His paths.
"
For out of Zion the law shall go forth,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between many peoples,
and rebuke strong nations afar off;
they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.
Micah 4:1-3


Man is forever fascinated by the lofty and mighty mountains. Wherever a mountain exists, there is always an inherent urge inside each of us to scale its height, to climb its slopes, to reach its peak and to view from its summit. Everybody wants to be above somebody else; to do better; to dream beyond; to see further; to reach higher ground and to achieve more in life.

Mountains are higher than hills. But the Hebrew words for hills and mountains are often used interchangeably. Some of the mountains in the Bible include:

Mountain

Metres

Feet

Mount Hermon

2,800

9,166

Sinai

2,300

7,500

Ebal

940

3,084

Gerizim

880

2,890

Nebo

800

2,630

Tabor

590

1,930

Gilboa

517

1,696

As some of them are near the Dead Sea, which is about 400 metres (1,300 feet) below sea level, they will appear to be higher than their indicated elevations.

Mountains have attracted all kinds of worshippers, both the godly and the ungodly. Even the pagans love to erect their altars at these high places to pray and sacrifice to their gods and goddesses. On the slopes and the summits of mountains, they carry out and conduct their religious ceremonies and rituals.

Likewise, there are many accounts in the Bible about God meeting and manifesting Himself to His people on the mountains. Some of them are:

Mountain Significant Events
Mount Moriah Testing Of Faith

God commanded Abraham to take his only son Isaac, and to offer him as a burnt offering.

Abraham called this place "Jehovah Jireh - The LORD Will Provide." And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided." (Gen. 22:1-19)

Temple Of Worship

Originally this was the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite (2 Chr. 3:1). David purchased the property from Ornan (1 Chr. 21:15--22:1), and built an altar there. His son, Solomon, later built the Temple on the same site.

Temple Mount

Today, this is the hottest property on planet earth! Four faiths (Judaism, Islam, Christianity and Roman Catholicism) are contending for this sacred site. The Muslim mosque, the Dome of the Rock, is now situated there.

Mount Horeb
Burning Bush Encounter With God

The mountain of God was in the Sinai Peninsula where Moses met God in the Burning Bush (Exo. 3:1-2).

Face To Face With God

The Tabernacle was set up outside the camp of the children of Israel. Moses entered the Tabernacle. The pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the Tabernacle. The LORD spoke to Moses face to face just as a man speaks to his friend (Exodus 33:6-23).

Mount Sinai God Gave His Commandments

After the Israelites left Egypt, they camped first in the Wilderness of Sin, then at Rephidim, and finally at Sinai. God gave the Ten Commandments at the foot of Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people (Exo. 19:11-12). They heard the Ten Commandments themselves from the mouth of God (Exo. 20:1-17).

The People Worshipped Afar Off

When the Israelites witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking, they trembled and stood afar off. Then they said to Moses, "You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die."

And Moses said to the people, "Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin."

But the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was (Exo. 20:18-21).

Mount Nebo A View Of The Promised Land

Moses was permitted to view the Promised Land, which he was not allowed to enter (Deut. 32:49-52).

An Undisclosed Burial Ground

Moses was buried in a nearby valley, but no one knows his grave to this day (Deut. 34:6).

Through these encounters of God on the mountains, we can see that not all of them are amazing and sensational experiences, feeling good like being at the top of the world! Many of these mountain experiences with God are soul-searching, self-evaluating and life-changing.

Jesus Himself had many encounters and experiences on the mountains of Israel:

Mount Events
Temptation On The Wilderness
(Matthew 4)
After the 40-day period of prayer and fasting in the wilderness, Jesus was tempted by the devil.

Satan wanted to hinder the mission of Jesus. But Jesus overcame every one of his temptations!

Sermon On The Mount
(Matthew 5 - 7)
On its slope towards the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus delivered the Beatitudes, the Law of God and the gospel of the kingdom of God.
Prayer On The Mount
(Matthew 14:23)
Jesus went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. He was there alone with His Father.
Miracles On The Mount
(Matthew 15:29-31)
Jesus performed many miracles, healings, signs and wonders. The mute were speaking, the maimed were made whole, the lame were walking, and the blind were seeing.
Transfiguration On The Mount
(Matthew 17:1-3)
Jesus was transfigured. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And Moses and Elijah appeared, and talked with Him.
Sufferings On The Mount
(Matthew 27:33-38)
Golgotha, which meant The Place of the Skull, was the location where Jesus was crucified. It is commonly known as Mount Calvary.
Ascension On The Mount
(Acts 1:9-12)
It was at the Mount of Olives where Jesus ascended bodily to His Father.

According to Zechariah 14:4-8, the King of Glory will return and touch down on the Mount of Olives, and split the mountain into two halves.

Here again, we see that our Lord Jesus’ experiences on the mountains are sometimes wonderful and marvelous, and sometimes trying and agonizing even to the point of excruciating pain and death.

Mount Zion is known as the mountain of the LORD (Isaiah 2:1-4; Micah 4:1-3). When Jesus returns to govern the earth, Mount Zion shall be established on the top of the mountains. It shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Mount Zion is also called Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people. They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.

In Psalm 48, Mount Zion is the city of the great King. It is beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth! It is His holy mountain! In order to ascend this mountain of the LORD and to receive His blessing, God has laid down some prerequisites:

Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD?
Or who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive blessing from the LORD,
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him,
who seek Your face. Selah (Psalm 24:3-6)

God desires to reveal Himself to us. But we must seek Him! He wants us to come up higher to His holy mountain. There He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths. In His holy mountain, we will begin to know the righteousness of God in Christ - His holiness, His love, His mercy and His grace! We will know both the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death. We will press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:9-14). We will do this one thing: forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead so that we may increasingly become more like our LORD Jesus Christ every new day!

Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted (Luke 14:11, Isaiah 40:4). The glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all of us shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken (Isaiah 40:5).

God is calling His people to come up higher. In Rev. 4:1, Jesus says, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this." He desires to reveal to us His plans and purposes in these last days that we are living in.

Many of us have had some mountaintop experiences. Some of us have scaled great heights in our lives, and have a lot of achievements and awards in the past. But some of us are now in our valleys, in the midst of mid-life crises. Everywhere we go seems to be full of shadows of darkness and death, of gloom and hopelessness. But valleys exist between the mountains. Before we can go from one height to another, we have to go through a valley.

Psalm 23 is an excellent example:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life;
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

In the first half of this beloved psalm, the psalmist used the pronoun "He" which was more distant and impersonal. But in the second half, he used the pronoun "You" which was more intimate and personal. The transition in verse 4 portrayed a valley experience. This is a great representation of our journey from Mount Sinai to Mount Zion. At Sinai, we stood afar to worship God. We asked Moses to go up to the mountain and seek God on our behalf. We would not want to hear God ourselves. We got the messages of God through a middleman - through our preachers, pastors and prophets.

But now, in the valleys, we are facing reality and life problems. God is revealing Himself to us. He is drawing us to Himself. His rod and His staff are comforting us! We begin to see Him face to face under the shadows of His wings. We begin to call Him, "Abba, Father!" We begin to develop a close and loving relationship with Him. We begin to know and understand Who He is and what His plans and purposes are. He is showing us great and mighty things, which we do not know. His thoughts are not our thoughts, nor are our ways His ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His ways higher than our ways, and His thoughts than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).

When we know and touch the heart of God, we will not only have the "You and me" relationship, but also the "You, me and they" relationship. Jesus never stayed and remained on the Mount of Transfiguration. He came down, served His people and suffered for them. When we know our God, we will also hear His heartbeat – the salvation of the Jews and the Gentiles! We will hear His voice, calling "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then we will respond, "Here am I! Send me."(Isaiah 6:8). We will be one of the voices crying in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God." (Isaiah 40:3).

When we have more mountaintop encounters with God, we will be given more responsibilities. To whom much is given, much will be required. To whom much has been committed, much will be demanded (Luke 12:48). Every servant of God bears His Name, knows His Word and does His Work that He has commissioned them to do. There is no slacking back or running away. They bring glory and honor to His name, and many blessings to the people they serve!

It is being like Christ and doing what Christ would do that we truly experience the joys and the heights of His love! No one can scale Mount Everest alone, without the help and company of others. While ascending the mountain of the LORD, let us help one another so that all will reach the summit safely to worship the LORD in the beauty of His holiness!

Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD!

Source:
Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Written on:
23 September 2004