Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611

Lessons For Ladies
This Series was taught by Mrs. James Modlish

Lesson Thirty Three

I Want That Mountain

Decades ago Jerry Falwell popularized this phrase in reference to the “mountain” in Virginia on which he wanted to build his university. Not to be disrespectful to Jerry and acknowledging that he did indeed fulfill his dream, that mound in Virginia is in actuality a hill; we have real mountains in Colorado…and lots of them! Colorado has 54 peaks with elevations in excess of 14,000 feet, the highest being Mt. Elbert at 14,433 ft. These are known among climbers as “fourteeners,” and they make this state a mountain climber’s heaven since Colorado has more fourteeners than any other state. Just recently, a friend of ours from Washington State came here for the express purpose of climbing Crestone Peak (a particularly dangerous mountain) and also Mt. Elbert. Having miscalculated the length of the time to ascend Crestone, she and her climbing companion were at the summit during a late afternoon thunderstorm, complete with lightening. Now this is a woman who has reached the summit of Mt. Everest, but she said that was the first time she has ever felt her helmet buzz!

Being a Colorado native, I love the majesty and the grandeur of the ranges that cross the terrain here. I am constantly awed by the power God wielded to create them: I am intrigued by the diverse weather they generate; I am comforted by their unchanging appearance.

So it should come as no surprise that God’s Word is full of references to mountains, so much so that I was a bit overwhelmed when I looked up the word in my concordance. In an effort to discern why God uses mountains so much in Bible history, I decided to categorize the events which transpired on an individual mountain. Note: the newer Bible versions will change the word mountain to hill; now that alters the effect, don’t you think? Imagine Mt. Sinai as a hill “altogether on a smoke.” (Exodus 19:18) It just doesn’t give you the same picture! God used the words He intended to use without help from mere mortals. So…back to the categories of events which occurred on a mountain. Mountains are:

1. Places of communication

A. Ex. 24;12 and 32:19 – God didn’t choose a valley or a plain from which to speak to Moses; He chose a mountain.
B. Matt. 28:16-20 – Jesus delivered the great commission to His disciples gathered on a mountain.

2. Places of sacrifice

A. Gen. 22:2 – Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Issac is the most compelling illustration of the coming sacrifice of the Lamb of God. And Abraham is instructed to do this “upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.”
B. Gen. 31:54 – His battle with Laban over and anticipating the reunion with his estranged brother Esau, Jacob offers a sacrifice to God on the mountain.

3. Places of authority

A. Ex. 19:11-12 – Moses, as dictated by God, sets boundaries around Mt. Sinai and issues the judgment that will be incurred by anyone who crosses that boundary.
B. Ezekiel 33:28-29 – An ominous warning is delivered for those who practice abominations, and the mountains of Israel are a picture of the ramification of such practices.
C. Rev. 8:8 – The frightening image of a mountain being thrown into the sea is a fulfillment of Mark 11:23. It is a clear picture of God’s final judgment on mankind.

4. Places of God’s presence

A. Ex. 24:16-17 – Imagine what it must have been like for the Israelites to witness the presence of the Lord on Mt. Sinai. In a study in contrasts, it is likened to a “devouring fire” and also a cloud.
B. Deut. 33:2 – In Moses’ blessing to the children of Israel prior to his death, he recounts, in all its glory, the majesty of God’s presence with them.
C. I Kings 19:11-13 – In these verses Elijah on Mt. Horeb witnesses God in the form of a great wind, an earthquake, a fire and a still, small voice.
D. Matt. 17:1-2 – Other than the crucifixion, the transfiguration is perhaps the most significant event to occur during Jesus’ time on earth, and God selected a high mountain on which to stage it.

5. Places of refuge

A. I Samuel 23:14 – A mountain in the wilderness of Ziph was a place of refuge for David and his men as he sought to escape King Saul.
B. Gen. 8:4-5 – In the aftermath of the worldwide flood, Noah’s vessel finds refuge on the slopes of Mt. Ararat.
C. Deut. 1:6 – Although the mount had provided temporary habitat for the Israelites, in this passage Moses instructs them to move into the Promised Land.

6. Places of death

A. Numbers 20:28 – Sadly, Aaron is denied the opportunity of witnessing the entering of the Israelites into Canaan and dies on Mt. Hor as directed by God.
B. Deut. 34:5 – With God’s plan for his life completed, Moses dies on Mt. Pisgah, and in a touching tribute to the faithfulness of the man, God Himself buries him. It is worthy to note that the next time we read about Moses was when he appears with Jesus on the mount of transfiguration.
C. I Sam. 31:1,6 – In the last event of a sad, complex life, we read that King Saul, his three sons and his armor bearer die at the hands of the Philistines on Mt. Gilboa.

7. Places of battle

A. Judges 4:6 – In one of my favorite Bible stories the prophetess Deborah gives General Barak marching orders for the upcoming battle against Jaban, king of Canaan, and the army is sent to Mt. Tabor.
B. Judges 3:27 – Fresh from plunging a dagger into bad King Eglon of Moab, Ehud rallies the Israelites into battle with the sound of a trumpet on Mt. Ephraim; they won the battle.
C. I Sam. 17:3 – The classic battle of the little guy versus the big guy occurs in an area which affords the Philistines a view from one said of a mount and the Israelites a view from the opposite one.

8. Places of mourning

A. Isa. 22:5 – In this last days message, Isaiah prophesies great trouble for Israel and “of crying to the mountains.”
B. II Sam. 15:30 – Escaping from Jerusalem and his scheming son Absalom, David retreats to Mt. Olivet to mourn.

9. Places of corruption

A. II Kings 23:13 – King Josiah breaks down the places of sacrifice build by King Solomon for the gods of the Moabites and the Ammonites which were appropriately located in the “mount of corruption.”
B. Isaiah 14:13 – In his blatant rebellion against God, Satan states that he will usurp God’s place in the mountain of the congregation.

10. Places of blessings and curses

A. Deut. 27:11-13 – In a charge to the children of Israel Moses tells them that blessing will be issued from Mt. Gerizim and curses from Mt. Ebal.
B. II Sam. 1:21 – In abject mourning for Saul and Jonathan, David issues this plea against the mountains of Gilboa in the form of a curse.

11. Places of triumph

A. Isa. 27:13 – with Israel re-gathered, the prophesy in this verse tells of them worshipping the Lord in the holy mount of Jerusalem…truly a day of triumph.
B. Isa. 42:11 – The praises to God are not to be whispered; they are to be shouted from the mountain tops.
C. Zech. 14:4 – In a glorious return, Jesus’ feet will touch the Mount of Olives, and in a manifestation of His power, the mount will split to the east and the west.

12. Places of glory

A. Psalm 48:2 – In the city of our God, “beautiful for situation,” Mt. Zion sits in all its glory throughout the centuries.
B. Psalm 148:9 – This entire Psalm is dedicated to praising God for His glory, and mountains are mentioned in verse 9.
C. Rev. 14:1 – What a vision John had as he saw Jesus standing on Mt. Zion with the 144,00 saint.
D. Rev. 21:10 – Surely the exile John endured on the isle of Patmos was worth it when he was taken to a great and high mountain to view the new Jerusalem.


These are but a few of the examples of mountains being used in important ways in God’s Word; they appear in the Scriptures repeatedly and in diverse circumstances. Because they are mentioned so prolifically, I must assume God likes mountains….He must love Colorado!


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