The Mountain of God
“Go Rest High on That Mountain” is a song written and recorded by American country music artist Vince Gill. It was released in August 1995. (Wikipedia). I don’t know how many times I have heard that song in the last twenty years at funerals that I have attended. It is one of the best and most popular ever. “Heaven” is a “mountain” because it is where the “Father and the Son” are present which brings us to the following points.
THE MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD
The word “mountain” as used in many verses in the Bible serves to emphasize the Lord’s residence and/or reign; His presence and power.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, in the city of our God, in His holy mountain. (Psalm 48:1).
Notice that God is in “His holy mountain.” The “holy mountain” is His dwelling place.
God has always been said to dwell in His “holy mountain.”
1. Heaven (God’s dwelling place) is called the “holy mountain of God.” God was speaking ultimately of Satan when He said:
You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you.“By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones. (Ezekiel 28:14-16). (See also Rev. 12:7-12, Lk. 10:18).
Observe that Satan was “cast out” of “heaven” (Rev. 12:7-9), but he was also said to be “cast out” of the “mountain of God” (Ezek. 28:16). Therefore God uses the word “mountain” to symbolize the “place” where He is present.
2. Mount Horeb was called the “mountain of God” because of God’s special presence and power that was manifested there. It was “holy ground” because of the presence of God in a special way.
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.” So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:1-5).
Observe that the “place” was “holy ground” because God Himself was manifested there in a special way. It was not “holy” because of a pile of dirt, but it was “holy” because of the presence of Deity.
3. The mountain where Jesus was transformed was called a “holy mountain.” Peter was with Jesus when Jesus was “transfigured” before him on a certain mountain (Matt. 17:1-6). Peter later said that he was with Jesus on the “holy mountain.” What made it “holy”? It was the presence and power of Jesus. Peter wrote:
For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. (2 Peter 1:16-18).
4. The Church is sometimes referred as God’s “holy mountain” because of God”s special presence in the church.
Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the Lord’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:2-3).
Observe a number of things in these verses. First, the “mountain” of the Lord would be “established” in the “last days.” Second, this “mountain of the Lord” would be the “house of God.” Third, this “mountain” of the Lord” and “house” of God is called “Zion.” Fourth, the “house of God” is the church (1 Tim. 3:16-17) and Christians have “come to Mount Zion” which is the “church of the firstborn” (Heb. 12:22). Why would the church be called the “mountain” of the Lord? For the same reason that “heaven” and “Horeb” and the “mountain” where Jesus was “transfigured” is called the “holy mountain”—because God’s presence is in the “church” (house/family of God) in a special way.
5. The “new heaven and new earth” that God is going to “create” is referred to as God’s “holy mountain” because God Himself will dwell there in a special way.
For behold, I create, new heavens and a new earth…..they shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain.” (Isaiah 65:17 & 25).
Observe that the “new heavens and a new earth” (vs. 17) are called God’s “holy mountain” (vs. 25) because He will manifest Himself there in a special way. The “holy mountain” here in Isaiah 65:17ff is not the church (kingdom) on this earth, but rather the kingdom where God will dwell with His people in the “new heaven and new earth.” This is where the “tabernacle (dwelling place) of God” will be with men (Rev. 21:1-3). But what makes it a “holy mountain”? God’s presence!
The dwelling place of God is always a “holy mountain.” Our loved ones who have died and gone to heaven really do “Go rest high on that Mountain” because that is where God is. Thanks, Vince Gill, for this amazing song.
Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).