I live in the Pacific Northwest, a place where mountain peaks and evergreen trees outnumber people. From my home, I have the pleasure of looking out across a gorgeous valley that ends at the bottom of some majestic mountains, many of which have snow-covered peaks throughout the year. Throughout history people around the world have considered mountains to be places of wonder and awe, as well as mysterious and full of danger.
Cultures across the globe have looked upon the high mountain peaks, many of which are often shrouded in clouds, as places to be revered because they are the habitation of the gods. The Greeks had Mt. Olympus, the Nepalese their Mt. Everest, and even the Lakota Sioux of North America have Inyan Kara, a peak in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The pages of the Bible also tell of people building places of worship on the “high places.”
What is this fascination with mountains that runs across both time and culture? Is it possible that the ancients retained an artifact in their memory of something that we “modern people” have lost a connection with?
The Bible also tells us that, after the nation of Israel left Egypt, in the wilderness of Sinai God spoke to them from the top of his holy mountain. It was a terrifying scene of black clouds, thunder, lightning and fire. This is the mountain that Moses ascended a number of times and personally met with God there; the place where he received the Law and the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments.
In many places the homes that are on the slopes of a mountain are prized real estate. Thousands of years ago the writer of Psalm 15 asked God, “Who may dwell on your holy mountain?” The reply was that only those whose walk is blameless, who do what is right, who speak the truth, live with mercy and kindness towards others, and honor and fear God (hold Him in great awe and respect) will dwell on His mountain slopes.
The next time you see a great mountain and marvel at its majesty and beauty, let it remind you that there is a real Mountain of God, a real place that many will one day live. Allow the mountain to inspire you to follow Him and His ways, so that you too will be given some prime real estate on its slopes.
Revelation 21:10 (NIV)
And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.