Luke 6:12 “Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.”
What is it about mountains that inspires people? Terms like ‘majestic’, or ‘awe inspiring’ are descriptions people use when looking at these large piles of dirt and rocks. Some mountains are tall enough to accumulate large amounts of snow which then elicits even more of a draw towards these landmarks in our countries. They each have names and most have historically been included in songs and poems. People spend thousands of dollars to climb them while many have passionately made them their pilgrimage each year, even some have seen their lives come to an end because of them.
Mountains shrink at a fairly steady rate each year. Do you know what causes this shrinkage? —–Lightning! Yeah, they used to think it was snow and ice causing fractures in the rocks, water run off or landslides but the biggest cause of the breakdown of mountains is the continual lightning strikes that occur each year. The erosion rates that occur are fast enough that if left to a natural order of decline would bring every mountain down to sea level in 50 million years.
There is a big problem that occurs for those who subscribe to an evolutionary model of the earth….
There shouldn’t be any mountains at all!
Evolutionary scientists think the earth is 4.6 billion years old, if this were the case, there would be no mountains. Given, tectonic plate movement may cause new mountains to arise but according to the ‘specialists’, the mountains date back to the time of when the earth was first formed.
Just like a Creation model is the only narrative that makes sense for the world around us, a biblical model is the only one that makes sense for all life as well.
Nahum 1:5 “The mountains quake before Him, The hills melt, And the earth heaves at His presence, Yes, the world and all who dwell in it.”
No matter how majestic the mountains may seem, all of Creation bows down before the Creator. Everything is reduced to nothing in the presence of God Almighty.
God uses Mountains
Exodus 19:18 "Mount Sinai was completely enveloped in smoke, because the LORD had descended on it in fire. And the smoke rose like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently."
When God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, do you remember the reason for leaving? Moses came before Pharaoh and said, “And you shall say to him, ‘The LORD God of the Hebrews has sent me to you, saying, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me in the wilderness”; but indeed, until now you would not hear!” Exodus 7:16
It was at Mount Sinai where God called His people to come and worship Him. After much deliberation with Pharaoh and some intense negotiations, the people were led through the desert to this mountain of the Lord. There, at this Holy place where Moses was first called by God to serve Him, was God’s choice to establish His law for every generation to come. In the same way that Moses ascended the mountain to converse with God, we see Jesus doing the same 1300 years later.
Close to God
When Jesus ascended that mountain, it wasn’t the first time He had done so. He often went to the mountains to pray. The solitude that is found on the tops of these high places can be a good time for reflection. When we eliminate the distractions of this world, we give ourselves the ability to hear the quiet voice of His Spirit. The problem is—-we have to come down. Now, if the only time we hear God’s voice is during these times of isolation, we will struggle with our walk. We have to learn how to hear God’s voice in the midst of the chaos. We must be able to pull back, shut off, and listen.
Previously to Jesus going up to the mountain to pray, there was an incident:
Luke 6:9-11 “Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?” And after looking around at all of them, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and it was restored.
But the scribes and Pharisees were filled with rage and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus.”
Jesus had been confronting the false implication that the Sabbath was not only to be strictly observed according to Jewish custom, the Pharisees had added to the requirements of the Sabbath. By adding to what God had made perfect, the requirements of the law became oppressive and unbearable. The people suffered under the weight of man’s restrictions and lost sight of the premise for which the Sabbath had been created.
Jesus was returning the moral law to what God originally intended: an expression of His love.
Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them.”
The pharisaical model for observance is a way for mankind to impose their rule, exert their pride, and ultimately to control others.
Does this model look familiar? It should if you have done any study of the myriad of false religions in the world. From Islam, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, to Buddhism, every religion apart from a Biblical model of God’s Truth imposes man’s will on the requirements for reaching God.
Jesus countered the anger and rage of those who rejected His model by simply going up to the mountain to pray. What can we take away from His example?
Arguing with a fool who is adamant in their position is not profitable.
There is plenty of opportunity to argue with others in this day and age. From politics to policy, it seems everyone is acquiring an opinion about everything. Much of the anger we see today stems from fear.
- Fear of getting sick
- Fear of an evil ruler taking control
- Fear of losing all that we once knew
- Fear of an uncertain future
- Fear of the unknown
Isaiah 35:4 “Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.”
We have got to continually remind ourselves when news reports on a virus strain, or a stock market dip, or some other report that paints a picture of impending doom presents itself before us….of who is in control.
How do you deal with the stress of this world. Where do you go?
The mountains of God have held many prominent positions throughout history. From Elijah confronting the false prophets on Mount Carmel to Jesus taking His disciples onto a mountain and being transfigured before them, God has used these landmarks to bring perspective to a people who have had a very hard time seeing beyond their own circumstances.
Micah 4:1 “In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and peoples will stream to it.”
The Lord will be exalted above all. When Jesus assumes His rightful place on this earth, His millennial throne will be on the temple mount, where His Spirit met with the people so long ago.
The Lord tends to close the circle of life, complete the processes He sets in place, and He fulfills His promises until the end.
Zechariah 8:3 “This is what the LORD says: “I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the LORD of Hosts will be called the Holy Mountain.”
Eventually, every mountain and high place will be brought low before the Lord most high. If we have exalted anything before Him, it will be reduced to nothing. The Lord will not share His glory with another. He alone is Creator and He alone stands worthy of all worship and praise.
Seek the Lord today. Find that place where you can dwell quietly with Him and speak out….He hears you and He will respond. Just listen.