The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it. Many peoples shall come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord! For you have forsaken the ways of your people, O house of Jacob. Indeed they are full of diviners from the east and of soothsayers like the Philistines, and they clasp hands with foreigners. Their land is filled with silver and gold, and there is no end to their treasures; their land is filled with horses, and there is no end to their chariots. Their land is filled with idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their own fingers have made. And so people are humbled, and everyone is brought low—do not forgive them! Enter into the rock, and hide in the dust from the terror of the Lord, and from the glory of his majesty. The haughty eyes of people shall be brought low, and the pride of everyone shall be humbled; and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day. Isaiah 2:1-11 (NRSV)
When we look at the history of the world and the different people who settle in different areas, we discover that the kind of land people live in has a huge impact on their culture. People who live in the deserts or large prairie lands typically become nomadic people, following the nomadic wildlife that moves in response to rainy and dry seasons. People that are fortunate to live in river valleys set down root, farm, and build great cities that last until floods or fires take them away. Very few people choose to live in the mountains, and those that do are often culturally marked in a way that all people can see.
Mountain people tend to be more rugged, less concerned with appearance and more focused upon function. Survival is not a theoretical concept with them, it is the business of their every day. They, more than any other group have a healthy respect for nature around them, recognizing that it is only through careful stewardship and grace that they will make it through the winter.
God called the Hebrew people out of the river valley, and met with them on a mountain before leading them through the desert wilderness for 40 years. He is not a God of comfort, He is a God who demands respect and reverence. He calls us all to be mountain people, who show our reliance upon Him and our careful stewardship of the gifts that He gives us by the way we look, speak, and act. But He does not call to pretend to be better than others. All are welcome to come live on the Mountain of God, but every person who is courageous enough to climb will be changed forever as we see our strengths dwindle away to nothing in the sight of the majesty and might of God.
Christ the King will soon descend from the Holy Mountain to seek us all out in the world and take us to live with Him forever. What kind of people will He find in us?
- What kind of place do you live in now?
- How would your life change if you moved to a very different kind of landscape?
- How would your life change today if you were willing to follow God anywhere He took you?
You are God alone, from before time began
You were on Your throne, You are God alone.
And right now, in the good times and bad
You are on Your throne, You are God alone.