Monday, May 23, 2011

What We Can Learn from Mountains

Exalt the Lord our God,

and worship at his holy mountain;

for the Lord our God is holy! (Ps. 99:9)

Mountains seem to have special significance in Scripture, and today, I decided to do a brief study on the subject to see what I could find out.

Begin with Humility

We must begin with a humble realization of our own inadequacy when studying God’s Creation.

...Then I saw all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. However much man may toil in seeking, he will not find it out. Even though a wise man claims to know, he cannot find it out. (Eccl. 8:17)

As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything. (Eccl. 11:5)

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?

Tell me, if you have understanding.” (Job 38:4)


Secondly, we must ask the question, why? Why did God choose to create mountains? I think the answer lies in a much broader examination of Creation, and begins with the acknowledgment that God’s original Creation was perfectly consistent with His character and holiness. When sin entered the world His Creation was marred and tainted by sin, but nonetheless, it still clearly testifies to its Creator.

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Rom. 1:19-20)

This is known as “general revelation.” God has made Himself known - partially - through the things He has made. Today, I’m not interested in purely “scientific” observations about mountains; I don’t want to just learn about them, I want to see what I can learn from them about God and His character.

Safety in the Lord

I lift up my eyes to the hills.

From where does my help come?

My help comes from the Lord,

who made heaven and earth. (Ps. 121:1-2)

Just as earthly mountains cause us to “lift up our eyes,” so we are to look heavenward for our Source of strength and protection. Spurgeon had this to say about Psalm 121:

It is wise to look to the strong for strength. Dwellers in valleys are subject to many disorders for which there is no cure but a sojourn in the uplands, and it is well when they shake off their lethargy and resolve upon a climb. Down below they are the prey of marauders, and to escape from them the surest method is to fly to the strongholds upon the mountains...

Help comes to saints only from above, they look elsewhere in vain: let us lift up our eyes with hope, expectance, desire, and confidence. Satan will endeavour to keep our eyes upon our sorrows that we may be disquieted and discouraged; be it ours firmly to resolve that we will look out and look up, for there is good cheer for the eyes, and they that lift up their eyes to the eternal hills shall soon have their hearts lifted up also. The purposes of God; the divine attributes; the immutable promises; the covenant, ordered in all things and sure; the providence, predestination, and proved faithfulness of the Lord—these are the hills to which we must lift up our eyes, for from these our help must come.

Whether you are the type who enjoys looking up at mountains, or standing on top of them, allow God’s magnificent handiwork to mold your heart and cause you to place your trust and hope in Him alone. As mighty as the mountains may seem, God is mightier still, and it is He who watches over you. Is that not a comforting thought?!

The Lord will keep

your going out and your coming in

from this time forth and forevermore. (Ps. 121:8)

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