There is no geological feature upon the earth which expresses grandeur and majesty in greater fashion than the sweeping expanse of a mountain. Since the LORD has seen fit to display the magnificent glory of HIS grace in the sight of all creation, what better description of it can be used than the splendor of a mountain, which rises in superlative beauty above the lowlands and plains of this world, dwarfing all that is around it. The LORD has declared HIS purpose to establish a kingdom, to be inhabited by HIS people, which is above all kingdoms and whose dominion is without end, this is HIS mountain, the hill of Zion.
To this end we see HIM unfolding the whole of creation from the beginning to the end. HE would magnify the glory of HIS grace in the redemption of an elect people which were hidden in CHRIST from before the very foundation of the world and in order to fulfill that purpose formed all of those things which do now appear.
It is fitting that we see seven (the number of completion) mountains in the scriptures which the LORD has used to manifest certain aspects of HIS character and purpose:
Mount Moriah. It is upon this mountain that the LORD instructed Abraham to offer up his son, Isaac. “And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.”(Gen 22:2) It was here that the promise of GOD was demonstrated to Abraham even as he testified to Isaac, “My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.” (Gen 22:8) It was here that he saw the fulfillment of his hope, “And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.” (Gen 22:14), as the LORD provided the SACRIFICE. It is also upon this very mount that the LORD directed Solomon to build the temple. (see II Chron. 3:1) The promise delivered on Mt. Moriah preceded that law which was delivered upon the next mountain and has more glory.
Mount Sinai. Dark and foreboding, is that mountain that could not be touched lest one perish. “And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.” (Exo 19:18) It was here that the LORD gave Moses the written law which was added because of transgressions. (see Gal.3:19). Sin existed before the giving of this coded law to the Jews, (see Rom.2:12-15) but GOD would demonstrate HIS utter hatred of sin and the certain doom of those who are sinners by the giving of this law. Lest any man think that he can keep this law, be reminded that this is a mountain upon which none could even set foot without being slain. Even Moses would perish here except he was hid in a “cleft of the rock”. Mount Sinai is not a place of comfort nor does it hold out any hope for a trembling sinner, for it is clearly a place of woe and destruction and speaks forth certain doom to all who venture there. The law can afford no peace to the people of GOD except that it gives them a vantage point from which the mercy of GOD is seen in such contrast even as Moses saw from the next mountain.
Mount Pisgah. It is from this lofty peak that Moses was able to survey the land of promise which the LORD had given the children of Israel. Yet Moses could not enter this land of promise any more than a man can be justified by the works of the law. The LORD buried Moses in that wilderness and no man knows of his sepulcher to this day. However, the religious men of our day have not ceased to look for his bones and would continually seek to bind the freeborn sons of GOD with his graveclothes.
Mount Carmel. For the most part GOD is pleased to hide HIS glory from men lest they be destroyed by that sight. “And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.” (Exo 33:20) Yet from time to time HE is pleased to give men a glimpse of HIS majesty and to demonstrate HIS sovereign dominion over all of the gods of man’s imagination. We see this occurring when the Ark of the Covenant was taken into the temple of Dagon by the Philistines; leaving poor old Dagon on the floor in embarrassment without any hands or feet. We see it again as Elijah confronts the prophets of Baal at Mt. Carmel and mocks them and their pipsqueak god as the true and living GOD answers with fire. The GOD of heaven and earth has no rival and is an absolute GOD who does according to HIS will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. HE forms the light and creates the darkness and has done whatsoever HE hath pleased. HE waits on no man nor in any wise depends on any of HIS creation for anything.
The Mount of Transfiguration. The FATHER would manifest the superiority of CHRIST JESUS over both the law and the prophets as HE appeared upon this mount with Moses and Elijah. They both disappeared in the light which shone round HIM in HIS most excellent glory and the FATHER made it clear that CHRIST, alone, is the spokesman for GOD. “God who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.” (Heb 1:1-2) “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life: and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (1John 5:11-12)
The Mount of Olives. It was here that our blessed LORD began to be sorrowful even unto death, pouring out HIS soul as an offering for the sins of those for which HE came into the world to save. Here in Gethsemane’s garden was the site of the bitterest anguish that any human has ever borne. HE willingly drank the cup of GOD’s wrath and was in the anteroom of hell as HE gave HIMSELF up to bear the dreadful curse of sinners.
Mount Calvary. This is the place of the skull, the altar where the blood of the precious and spotless LAMB of GOD was poured out as an offering for the sins of HIS people. No mountain in all of the scripture is more central to GOD’s purpose of redemption than this sacred ground. It is here that CHRIST finished the work that HE came to perform. It is here that HE triumphed over sin; satisfying the claims of a broken law which demanded the death of the guilty. HE who knew no sin, became sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of GOD in HIM. Well did the apostle Paul exclaim, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” (Gal 6:14)mam