My previous posts in this series took us down two different paths.
First we looked at the path through the wilderness. Here we talked about those things that can be learned on that path. It is where we can learn about; His word, our worship, our walk, how to war and how to wait.
Secondly, we looked at the path through the valley. Here we saw God in action on our behalf to; judge His enemies, to lead guide and comfort, to perform His word and to reward those that seek Him.
In this study we are going to a higher place. It's time to go up the mountain.
Once again, you have probably already thought of a few mountains. So let's go climbing shall we?
I have read a few books about mountain climbing, in particular books about Hillary and Everest, as well as others. I've learnt some things from these books which I will touch on in places, but for now, let's turn to the Bible.
Whenever we see mention of a mountain in the Bible. It is usually either an obstacle or a place of revelation. It is this aspect of revelation that I want to focus on.
The mountain is a place where God is revealed. It is a place where he reveals something of Himself,
or something of His intention to us.
On Mt Sinai, God revealed Himself to Moses through His law and His word. His truth was revealed. Exodus 19-22
On Mt Carmel, God demonstrated His power. His authority was revealed. 1 Kings 18:20-39.
On the top of Peor, God revealed himself to Balaam, the pagan prophet, commanding him to bless and not curse. His will was revealed. Numbers 22-24.
On Mt Nebo, God met with Moses one last time and showed him Canaan, the land over Jordan. His promise was revealed. Deuteronomy 32:48-49.
On the Mount of Transfiguration. The disciples saw Jesus glorified. His divinity was revealed. Mark 9:2-7 and Luke 9:28-35.
Whatever your experience on the mountain, and these examples are just a sampling, you cannot stay there. This was the error Peter made. He wanted to make booths and camp there. You must come down. The atmosphere is rarefied, the weather is changeable, unpredictable and you are exposed. Above a certain altitude, the top of the mountain is called "the death zone", and for very good reason.
Bear in mind that Moses died on Nebo because of his disobedience in the wilderness (see Deuteronomy above). The children of Israel camped around Kadesh Barnea for forty years because they refused to enter the land. Numbers14. Perhaps we could view Babel as an attempt to manufacture a mountain experience.
Whatever we learn on the mountain, we must also learn to carry it down. It is a well known fact among mountaineers, that more deaths occur on the descent than on the ascent. This is where climbers become careless. The climb up and the elation of the summit have taken their toll. Fatigue sets in, ego overrules wisdom. You have never really conquered a mountain by simply reaching the top. You must now get off it alive. You have to come down, because the mountain is not the finish of your journey.
If you're taken up the mountain, go up.
If you're not, then don't.
When you're told to go down, go.
Because whatever you've learnt there, you will carry with you on the next part of your journey. There may be another wilderness to cross, another valley to go through, another mountain to climb. This journey will continue until we come to the top of the final climb. Mt Zion.
So keep walking. It's not time to stop just yet.
Images used in this post.
Image courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of bAll_llAd at FreeDigitalPhotos.net