I Lift Up My Eyes to the Hills

Important events of the Bible happened near or on mountains in Israel. Have you ever thought about the meaning they could have for your life?

1.   Mount Ararat – the strong mountain on life’s ocean (Genesis 7-8:5)

Noah, his family, and many different animals were inside the ark, which drifted on an incalculable mass of water. For forty days, it rained extraordinarily heavily and without stopping. The passengers remained in the dim “box” for another 150 days. The massive ship swayed back and forth on the waves. The result of this situation was uncertain to them. Would the food reserves be enough? Their faith in God remained unshakable!

Suddenly, a jolt caught the body of the ship. Guided by the hand of God, the ark settled on the rocky terrain of Ararat (Genesis 8:4), for “God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the animals that were with him in the ark” (Genesis 8:1). He had not forgotten them! Now they knew that the time of their freedom was getting closer. The water consistently dropped, and they felt solid ground.  

Similarly, your life today can unfold like this. The current situation of the coronavirus pandemic has caused much fear and uncertainty. What will your future be like? What personal consequences for your future career will these economic developments have? Maybe you find yourself in a seemingly hopeless situation that remains unchanging. Instead of a job acceptance letter, you receive a rejection letter. Your occupational journey is not what you had hoped for, and you feel that the competition is weighing in on you. You look for a way out, but all the doors are closed. Your feelings fluctuate between hope and a lack of orientation. Unease and restlessness want to take over. However, then you read this Bible passage: “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22).

Even if the situation doesn’t change right away, be encouraged. The passage supports your hope that God will change the situation into something good. Further, may you realize: everything that happens belongs to a plan and works together for your good!

2. Mount Moriah – unconditional devotion to God

For many years, Abraham and Sarah hoped for the arrival of a child. Finally, God fulfilled His promise, and they received a son, Isaac. However, sometime later, God confronted Abraham with a humanly unimaginable trial (Genesis 22:1-19) and said to him: “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

You do know that God would never encourage a human sacrifice. He was testing Abraham’s faith and his willingness to sacrifice everything for God.

Abraham listened and immediately set out on the journey with Isaac. Together, father and son climbed the mountain. God watched them both, listened to their conversations, and noticed the loving care Abraham showed his son. “Here I am, my son!” God also saw how calmly Abraham fulfilled his assignment and how confident he was in reassuring the confused Isaac: “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering” (verse 8). Deep within his heart, he believed that God could raise him from the dead. When Abraham was ready to go so far as to even sacrifice his dearly loved son, God stepped in: “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now, I know that you fear God” (verse 12).

Abraham named this mountain “for the Lord sees” (verse 14) or “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided.” This is the mountain on the journey with Jesus where God watches your willingness to sacrifice and lay everything in your young life, your dreams and wishes, at His feet. He not only watches but also ensures that you do not suffer or endure disadvantages in your life. Can you accept it from God’s hands when your plans are crossed out, doors are closed, and your path, into which you have invested so much energy and dedication, is suddenly taken in a different direction? God examines the authenticity of your faith – a  faith that is willing to sacrifice worldly friendships and materialistic profit to ensure your soul does not endure eternal suffering (see Mark 8:35-36).

Do not walk around this mountain. God will send you the needed help at the right time, for He sees you!

Andreas Schell

Hetzerath, Germany

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