Summary: Some mountains in life are to be climbed, some are to be conquered, some are to be commanded, and some are cordoned off.
Why Didn’t My Mountain Move?
Today we begin a series of messages that are based on a question a woman asked her pastor at the conclusion of a service.
WHY DIDN’T MY MOUNTAIN MOVE?
The question came after he had preached on the text in Mark that says: "For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith." (Mark 11:23)
Apparently her mountain hadn’t moved. I think his answer was somewhat inspired as he simply said, "Some mountains in life are to be climbed, some mountains in life are to be conquered, some mountains in life are to be commanded." That sentence is the lynch pin upon which this series of messages will hang. I will add a fourth scenario to the three he stated: "Some mountains in life are cordoned off."
Today we begin with general comments about mountains, and in the weeks to come we will address the four subjects we have listed.
Intro.: Mountains play a big role in Scripture: The ark rested on Mt. Ararat, the sacrifice of Isaac was on a mount, the Law was given on Mt. Sinai, Caleb said, "give me my mount", the temple was built on Mt. Zion, Elijah & prophets of Baal fought on Mt. Carmel, the second temptation of Jesus was on a mount, the transfiguration of Jesus took place on a mount. That both Moses, and Jesus were gloriously transformed on mounts, speaks to us that mountains represent in scripture high places of communion with God.
Today we will begin with a statement of Caleb that we will deal much more with, when we come to the message that some mountains in life are to be conquered. But for today we will use Joshua 14:12 as our introductory text into our discussion of mountains.
Joshua 14:12 Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims [were] there, and [that] the cities [were] great [and] fenced: if so be the LORD [will be] with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.
MOUNTAINS SPEAK TO US OF PRIVILEGE.
God gives the fertile plains to those whose strength and constitution are small. He reserves mountains for those who are more hardy in nature and disposition. Mountains though difficult to conquer are a privileged blessing He gives to those who have especially found His favor. It is not the easy life, and the easy road that are specially favored of God, it is not crossless Christianity that He smiles upon, it is he that goes forth bearing precious seed weeping that shall doubtless come again rejoicing. The harder the task, the greater the investment that God has entrusted you with. To be given a mountain is a statement by God that He thinks highly of you, and He thinks highly of what He plans to do through you.
Matthew Henry, the great Bible commentator, discussing this passage makes some general comments and then relates the following conversation that is said to have taken place between Moses and Caleb.
Caleb: "I will undertake to deal with that, and, if I cannot get it for my inheritance, I will be without."
"Well," said Moses, "it shall be thy own then, win it and wear it."
(The source of this alleged conversation is never related by Matthew Henry, I presume it is something of Jewish origin. Though its veracity can be argued, this much can be adduced, that the Jews themselves viewed the conquest of the mountain as an ornament and prize of honor that Caleb could wear should he conquer it.)
MOUNTAINS SPEAK OF DIFFICULTY, OBSTRUCTION, BARRIER.
Barriers keep bad out as much as they separate us from that which we desire. When you ask for a mountain, you are asking for a war, but a war that has great reward.
MOUNTAINS SPEAK OF OUR GOD GIVEN DESTINY.
"Give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day;" though it had been given to him, Caleb still asked for it. He thus recognized that even though God gives one a special destiny, it does not remove the need to pray about, be in submission to authority about it, or to fight for it. When God gives you a destiny, it does not mean it will hit you on the head, and that you will have to do nothing for it to come to pass. Rather it will be a joint cooperative effort. God will do His part, and you must do yours.
Mountains are beautiful to behold, even so, fulfilling your God given destiny has a beauty to it that nothing else in life can bring. It is worth fighting for, it is worth suffering for, it is worth dying for. Mountains are beautiful to behold and treacherous to traverse. Thank God, that He has promised to make your feet like hinds feet and to cause you to walk upon your high places.