Mountains of God – The Lord is the Rock

Mountains of God – The Lord is the Rock

Mountains of God – The Lord is the Rock.

“Your saving grace and your righteousness are like the mountains of God.” (Psalm 36:6).

Yes, God lives in heaven. But all through Scripture He appears to have a second home here on the earth, in the mountains. God’s personal involvement on mountains deepen the meaning and significance of what mountains have come to symbolize through the ages… stability; safety; permanence; majesty; beauty; spiritual inspiration. One of God’s names in Scripture is El-Shaddai (Genesis 17:1), and an ancient meaning of that name is “God of the Mountain.” It’s easy to see why. God’s attributes can clearly be seen in mountains, including the fixed foundation of His faithful love. “For even if the mountains move and the hills disappear, even then my mercy for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken, says Yahweh Lord, who has mercy on you.” Isaiah is saying that we all know how next to impossible it would be for a mountain to totter and fall. But it’s more likely for mountains to move away than for God to withdraw His unshakeable love for you.

God is like the mountains: He doesn’t change, He stays the same, He is consistently steadfast and stable. Mountains are referenced over 500 times in Scripture. Not only are mountains the go-to place for momentous events all through the Bible, but God Himself made it clear from the beginning that mountains are His first choice as a site to reveal Himself and His favorite place to meet with people. “I lift my eyes to the mountains; where is my help to come from? My help comes from Yahweh Lord who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2).

Down through history people have assumed that since God is in His heavens, the closer one can get to God on high, the more spiritual enlightenment one can receive. There have been pagan shrines and mountaintop gurus as long as we can remember. People have always climbed to the “high places” for heavenly insight and personal contact with the gods, or with God. Irish Christians consider mountains to be one of those sacred “thin places” where the layer between heaven and earth is so thin that a believer can easily step from one to the other. As one person excitedly told Barbara Brown Taylor, ‘You’re sinners going up, but you’ll be saints going down!” People still refer to a special time with God as a “mountaintop experience.” As we study the Mountains of God in Scripture, we come to appreciate how central mountains are in the Word, how important they are to God himself. Mountains will be seen as a sacred part of nature that consistently has seen powerful events and profound conversations between us mere mortals and the Almighty God. Let us rejoice and applaud the God who is the Rock, who has a glorious history of preferring His own mountaintop experiences with us.

“For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God?” (Psalm 18:31).

“Rock” = Hebrew, Tsuri (zsu’ ree): An enormous boulder, or a rock formation made up of huge boulders; can also mean a large immovable cliff or mountain crag.

God’s qualities as a Rock: immovable; stable; unshakeable; strong support; impregnable defense; shelter and hiding place; safe stronghold and refuge; unchangeable; permanent. The character trait ascribed to God is called “immutable,” which means unchanging over time and unable to change.

One common title used to describe God in the Hebrew Bible is Rock. Some even call it a nickname of God. Of course, God is not just a rock, but The Rock. That title is used about 140 times in the Old Testament, and most often it is used in reference to God. One would think a plain rock would not be a very inspiring description of the Almighty God, but as it turns out, there is a long list of biblical heroes for whom Rock was a favorite way to think about the character and attributes of God. Some classic Rock passages include:

(1.) Jacob (Genesis 49:24): “… because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel.” 

(2.) Moses (Deuteronomy 32:3-4): “I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He.”  (Deut. 32:18): “You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you birth.” 

(3.) Hannah (1 Samuel 2:1-2): “There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides You; there is no Rock like our God.”

(4.) David (2 Samuel 22:2-3): “The LORD is my Rock, my fortress and my deliverer; My God is my Rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the strength of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my Savior.” [also refer to Psalm 18:1,2,31; Ps. 62:2; Ps 71:3; Ps. 89:26]

(5.) Habakkuk (Hab. 1:12): “O LORD, are you not from everlasting? My God, my Holy One, we will not die. O LORD, you have appointed them to execute judgment; O Rock, you have ordained them to punish.” 

(6.) Isaiah (Is. 17:10): “You have forgotten God your Savior; you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress.” (Is. 26:4): “Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.” (Is. 44:8): “Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”