One of the most frequently mentioned terrains in the Bible are mountains. Whether it be a place where God made a covenant with man or a place of refuge and safety, the Lord uses mountains for His purposes. The greatness of the mountains points us and reminds us of the majesty and wonder of our Lord. Today we will explore why we should pay attention to mountains in the Bible.
What Are Some of the Most Important Mountains in the Bible?
Hope Bollinger from Bible Study Tools shares about some significant mountains found in the Bible.
Mount Zion: Mt. Zion is one of the most well-known mountains in Scripture. Believers worshiped at this mountain for many years. It is the location in which the future Jerusalem will be.
Psalm 29:35 “For God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah. Then people will settle there and possess it.”
Mount Ararat: This is the mountain where Noah’s ark stopped after being in the flood for 40 days and nights. Hope explains that Mount Ararat is located in Turkey, but not allowed for tourists. She says that the Bible does not say exactly where the ark landed.
Genesis 8:4 “And on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat."
Mount Sinai: The location where Moses provided the 10 Commandments to the people of God. I find this fascinating that God came down on this mountain on the third day. In three days, God came to bring the law for our sins and in three days Jesus defeated our sin.
Exodus 19:11 “And be ready by the third day, because on that day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.”
Mount Tabor: This is the place where Jesus transfigured in front of Peter, James, and John. In Scripture, it is also known as the Mount of Transfiguration.
Matthew 17:1-2 “After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.”
Mount of Olives This is a personal favorite mountain because Scripture tells us that Jesus went up to heaven here and He will come back on this mountain. Mount of Olives gives us hope and anticipation of the return of Christ.
Zechariah 14:4 “On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.”
What Do Mountains in the Bible Represent?
God’s Glory: At first, I think about how the Lord uses a mountain to symbolize His greatness and strength. When we see a range of these incredible summits, our minds cannot conceive how they have been formed by God. This moves us to glorify Him.
Psalm 121:1-2 says, “I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
Trials: When people know there is a challenge ahead to climb a mountain, but they know the beauty awaiting for them at the top, they stay motivated to be on the journey. Jesus uses the symbol of a mountain in terms of our faith. When thinking of mountains, they sometimes can be in our way to traveling from one destination to another.
Jesus shares in Matthew 17:20, “He replied, ‘Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.’” When we think about the difficulties in life, we can remember that the presence of the Holy Spirit is with us always. He can place our faith in the Lord and conquer the challenges that come our way through Him, knowing that we will make it through this.
Victories: Mountains are places of victory in Scripture. I think about Moses during the battle of the Amalekites against Israel. Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up on Mount Sinai and every time the two held Moses’ arms up, the Israelites had victory (Exodus 17:12-14). May we not forget Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal and had great triumph on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:25).
When we look up at the mountains, we can ponder how God gives us victory over the enemy. We can remember all of the people throughout history who have seen the work of the Lord on their behalf for His glory.
Refuge: Mountains are a place of refuge for the people of the Lord. I think of David on the run from King Saul. He hid in the mountains for safety. 1 Samuel 23:14 says, “And David stayed in strongholds in the wilderness, and remained in the mountains in the Wilderness of Ziph. Saul sought him every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand.”
I sometimes even hear of believers today in overseas countries hiding in the mountains for protection. Mountains are a place of security. How is God a refuge of safety like a mountain in your life? When we think about how large these creations are, they do not compare to the greatness of the Lord. We can rest in knowing that we are safe in His arms.
How Does God Use Nature to Display His Glory?
Psalm 95:4 says, “The depths of the earth are in His hand, and the mountain peaks are His.”
The Lord clearly displays His glory through nature by its beauty, power, and creativity. When we look at the world around us, we see the words spoken from the mouth of God in Genesis. We witness creation worshiping the Creator (Psalm 19:1). We stand in awe of the unique detail in the small things and in the grand big things. Nature points us to the Greater Being who intelligently designed us and the world. Scripture says that if we do not cry out, the rocks will cry out (Luke 19:40). Nature is praising Jesus.
Annette Griffin from Crosswalk shares that mountains are mentioned in connection with a “spiritual high” experience. As we talk about the peak of a mountain, we can think about thrilling spiritual moments with Christ. As we picture the height and detail of a mountain, we are reminded of how much higher and wiser the Lord is to us. Mountains reveal how small we are and remind us how substantial God is in reality.
Why Should We Know about the Mountains in the Bible?
It is valuable to know about mountains in the Bible because they help us to connect with the Lord. They bring an understanding of how He has worked in the past and they give us joy in His creativity. When we know Scriptures about mountains, then seeing the mountains will propel us to worship.
Mountains remind us of God’s glory, trials we face, victories we obtain through Christ, or refuge from the enemy. We can take a special notice of them as we study the Word of God and as we witness the beauty of them in photographs and in person. Knowing about mountains in the Bible will create a zeal for the Lord’s creation and His power. Whether at the foot of a mountain or the top of the peak, we can ponder the fact that the Spirit of God is with us always. We can claim that He is over all of creation. We can hold fast to the hope that one day Jesus Himself will return to us on the Mount of Olives in all of His glory. Ultimately, may the mountains remind us that Jesus is coming back for us.
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Emma Danzey’s mission in life is to inspire young women to embrace the extraordinary. One of her greatest joys is to journey with the Lord in His Scriptures. Emma is a North Carolina resident and green tea enthusiast! She is married to her husband Drew and they serve international college students. She enjoys singing, dancing, trying new recipes, and watching home makeover shows. During her ministry career, Emma recorded two worship EP albums, founded and led Polished Conference Ministries, ran the Refined Magazine, and served in music education for early childhood. Currently, she is in the editing stages of her first two writing projects: a Bible study on womanhood and a non-fiction book on singleness. You can visit her blog at emmadanzey.wordpress.com