Summary: Events in the Bible that took place on a mountain
Mountain Moving Faith:
Throughout history some words have inspired the human soul, raising it to new heights of honor and greatness. Perhaps you can still quote the words of Thomas Jefferson that you learned in grade school, “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Abraham Lincoln said at Gettysburg, “Four Score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal…we highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
EHistorians declare that Churchill’s words inspired not only Britain but the world to stand against Hitler. Speeches like his “finest hour” speech instilled confidence in soldiers to fight for freedom. “Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization…Hitler knows that he will have to break us on this island or lose the war. If we stand up to him, all Europe may be free. Let us therefore brace ourselves and bear ourselves that if the British Empire lasts for a thousand years, men will say, ‘This was their finest hour.’ ”
Other examples like FDR’s radio broadcast after the bombing of Pearl Harbor or Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream!” speech stand out as some of the most memorable words ever spoken in American history. Long before American forefathers “conceived of a nation of Liberty,” an 85 year-old leader from Israel declared with tremendous passion words that could be included in the category mentioned above. The seasoned warrior, Caleb, inspired a nation and subsequent generations when he boldly declared, “Give me this mountain!” (KJV). Joshua 14: 6-15 contains the inspiring story of Caleb’s request for Mount Hebron where the giants of Anak lived.
Hebron is a mountain town located in the “hills of Judea” about 20 miles from Jerusalem. Though the town of Hebron actually sits in one of valleys of the Judean hills, it enjoys an elevation of 3,300 feet, making Hebron a formidable military stronghold. However, it is the former inhabitants, not the topography that elevate this mountain to a place of supreme significance for Israel as the nation prepared to take possession of the Promised Land. When the spies returned from their reconnaissance mission, they reported of amazing fertility. “The land flows with milk and honey,” they said. But, there was a big problem. In fact, the problem was so big that the spies convinced the people that God could not overcome it. What was this God-defying obstacle? Fortified cities and the giants of Anak who lived at Hebron paralyzed Israel from possessing what God had promised (Num. 13:28).
Fast forward 45 years from the negative report given by the ten doubting spies to the setting of Joshua 14:6-12 where Joshua divides the land among the tribes of Israel. After five years of war, Joshua led the nation in securing enough peace to begin establishing permanent dwellings. What appears in just a few verses of Scripture probably took months of planning. The distribution of the land would be similar to Republicans and Democrats agreeing to create new voting districts before an important election.
Imagine the scene. The only two men who survived the wilderness punishment now meet to receive the fruit of their labor. Caleb and Joshua never doubted the power of God to defeat the enemy and to keep His promise of providing a land flowing with milk and honey. After some administrative allocations for the priests, Joshua calls Caleb to step forward. I imagine the two embracing with tears running down their cheeks like beloved teammates who just won a championship. Joshua says, “Old friend, I have saved the best land for you. Choose from all of Canaan where you want to establish your household.” Caleb shocks everyone. Pointing to Hebron, he says, “Give me this mountain!” I wonder if Joshua explained that Hebron was one of the “hot zones” where battles were still being fought. I imagine him offering Caleb Mount Carmel along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea or the fertile valleys along the Jordan River, but Caleb says, “Give me this mountain.” Then with poignant reverence, Caleb explains that God promised to give the land where he had once walked, and God preserved his strength for this mission. Even though he is 85 years-old, he is “vigorous to go out to battle” (Josh. 14:11). Caleb pledges that with the Lord’s help, he will drive the Anakites from the land. The giants who caused Caleb’s brothers to doubt and spend forty years in the wilderness would never threaten Israel again. “Give me this mountain!”