In the Old Testament, God’s chosen people had to overcome three mountains in order to secure their Promised Land.
As we look forward in our walk with the Lord, we can see the same three mountains in our paths too. Let us look at the mountains in some detail and to their symbolism, to see how they impact our lives and our walk with the Lord.
The first Mountain in the path of the Israelites was Mount Sinai. For the Israelites, this mountain was empty and barren. There were no enemy to be found there, so no battles were fought there, no giants were overcome there. Christians may see this mountain as representing the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Like Mount Sinai, there is no great difficulty in achieving this peak, in achieving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. We only need to conquer our own fears and concerns and possess a little faith and all will be revealed to us, and we will conquer.
For a few of us, however, the spiritual enemy whom we all face, may decide to make a stand even here and stop us from receiving that which is ours in the Lord and by faith. The enemy is aware that a few of us have particular callings or giftings or destinies in the Lord (even though we ourselves may be ignorant of them), which are absolutely not favourable to his domain and rulership. Or it may be that one is unknowingly a spiritual keystone, a keystone which holds a vital position in an unseen structure and the removal of that keystone, the loss of that keystone to God, will cause a significant collapse of his power and result in the breaking of his bondage for many others and their return to Christ and His Kingdom. A father or grandfather as family head, is a simple example of this.
The second mountain is Mount Hebron. When Caleb and Joshua came back from Mount Hebron they told the Israelite leader that the sons of Anak lived there – there were giants in the land which needed to be overcome. The spiritual significance for us is made clear in the Bible characters who are related to Mount Hebron; Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, just to name three of the most renowned. In order for these men to achieve their destiny, they all needed to become separated from those who did not have the same calling or vision for the future. Abraham was separated from Lot, after which he flourished in God provide abundance. Isaac was separated from Ishmael and Jacob from Esau. Once the separation was complete, fruitfulness, abundance and multiplication arrived from the Lord, not just two-fold, or ten-fold but one hundred-fold. Let us note here that abundance should not be interpreted to mean “riches” in the contemporary use of the word and as espoused in the ‘prosperity gospel,’ but a plenty of God’s graciousness, whether measured in the tangible or the intangible.
Caleb, one of the two spies who told of the giants on Mount Hebron was also the one whom the Lord used to defeat them, though a remnant was left (Joshua 15:14). Hebron is a place of circumcision of the heart, a place for the Lord’s wholehearted born-again Christians. But to conquer this mountain and then move on, we need to allow the Lord to do His work in our hearts and our lives and submit unreservedly to Him and to Him alone. For Dr. Brian J. Bailey (see note below), Hebron, to him, represents:
“Separation before multiplication – Abraham had to separate from family and friends who did not have the same vision and call.
Dedication, wholeheartedness – This involves faithfulness in menial affairs, and keeping right attitudes.
Marriage – Many blessings and safeguards come into our lives when we let God choose our companion. After marriage, we must continue to be wholehearted for God in order to help our mate go on in God’s call. An unconsecrated wife will hinder he husband from fulfilling the call of God. Also, a man will answer to God for keeping his family from God’s highest.
Barrenness first, then fruitfulness – Barrenness does a deep purification within our hearts.
Circumcision – This means facing whatever God’s Word is confronting us with.
All the Abrahamic blessings – These are only obtained by the wholehearted ones.
Tearing down the strongholds of Satan – The Lord wants His Church to have the power to break the spiritual power.
Enlargement – At Hebron, there is an anointing for enlargement.
City of Refuge – Hebron is a place for showing compassion to the poor and needy and for being open-handed.
Pure worship and teaching – One important key for going on with God is avoiding worldly music and leading others into pure worship and praise, as well as teaching.
Sacrifice of our “Isaac” – At Hebron, we release our most cherished possessions, even out calling and ministry if God required. Everything we have is simply loaned to us by God.”
Success on Hebron brings us to the ultimate challenge, that of Mount Zion. Mount Zion is inhabited by the Jebusites and is significantly more difficult to conquer, being the last stronghold of the enemy of the Promised Land.
The Jebusites were the last of the seven tribes the Israelite needed to conquer to secure the Promised Land, but their opponents were a profoundly difficult foe and they, spiritually at least, still remain so for us today. The Jebusites were akin to those described in Proverbs 6:16-9 “There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.” The Jebusites sowed the seeds of discord in their enemy and in that, they were hard to defeat as they caused division in the ranks of the faithful. Once overcome, however, the victor becomes the exact opposite of that enemy which was faced. Thus, once the Jebusites were vanquished from Zion the mountain became known for its unity. Psalm 133 1:3 gives us an understanding of this ”Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment on the head that ran down on the beard, Aaron’s beard, that went down to the mouth of his garments; like the dew of Hermon that came down on the mountains of Zion; for there Jehovah commanded the blessing, life forevermore.” This unity is certainly worthy of possession.
In these end-times, we are certainly in the midst of the times of deception of which Jesus warned of as a sign. When we overcome the Jebusites, unity will become our great strength. Indeed it is true for any enemy in the Bible which is overcome. If we are the overcomers – we possess the enemy’s strength as our strength for the next battle. Such victories are used as the anointing oils of the Old Testament. God told this to Moses in Exodus 30:30 as he said “And you shall anoint Aaron and his sons and consecrate them, so that they may minister to Me in the priest’s office.” Thus, we can take the position that overcoming the enemy of the Bible allows us to use the victories to anoint ourselves, bless ourselves and consecrate ourselves for God’s use. However, we cannot do this unless we do it with the correct attitude, that being an attitude acceptable and respectful of God. Even as victors, we are to proceed with meekness, goodness, gentleness, humility and peace. In Isaiah 56:7 God tells us about Mount Zion “even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted on My altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” Mount Zion is a place of prayer and of seeking the face of the Living God. Paul tells us in First Thessalonians 5;17 to “Pray without ceasing,” which is appropriate for those on Mount Zion; for is the place of the Laws of God. Isaiah 2:3 makes this clear “And many people shall go and say, Come, and let us go to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob. And He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths. For out of Zion shall go out the Law, and the Word of Jehovah from Jerusalem.”
At this point, many born-again Christians need to be reminded that though we are not “under Law but under grace” (Romans 6:14) the Law of God is still fully in effect, for Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-17 “Do not think that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to destroy but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, Till the heaven and the earth pass away, not one jot or one stroke shall in any way pass from the Law until all is fulfilled.” Christians are under the new covenant and we are not saved by the Law, for the Law brings death, but the spirit of the Law, brings life (Romans 8:2). For what is the new covenant? Hebrews 8:10 makes it clear “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My Laws into their mind and write them in their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” It is not God’s law written on pieces of paper or stone but written into the very heart of the believer. A new and fresh appreciation for the Laws of God comes with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I pray that You will give me a clear understanding of the mountains in this life which I must conquer for You. Help me also to overcome the enemy who would distract me, or deceive me or cause me to lose the path which You would have me travel. Lord, please give me eyes to see Your signs and ears to hear Your words, such that I shall not be moved from the path of righteousness which I sincerely seek to travel. Help my Father to conquer the mountains and giants before me, just as your men and women overcame them in the past, such that Your Kingdom will be glorified.
I pray this in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ. Amen and Amen.
Note: Quoted extracts from “The Journey– A Quest for Christian Maturity” by Dr. Brian J. Bailey.