How many of you go to the mountains to escape the chaos of the cities in the valley? Many retreats and conferences are set in lovely mountain locations. Jesus took Peter, James and John to the top of Mount Hermon where they witnessed Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus. Our mountaintop experiences may not hold the significance of Mount Hermon, but we still want to linger there. Jesus led His three friends back into the valley where they faced a desperate father. The man had taken his demon possessed son to the other disciples, but they could not deliver the boy. Jesus had compassion on the father and healed his son. The disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t help the boy, and He told them this kind of sickness required prayer and fasting (Mark 9:14-23). Perhaps mountaintop experiences are not only for escapes, but they are meant to empower us to do wonderful things in ministry. Jesus said we would do even greater things than He. Only with His strength working in us!
Man has always had an attraction to high places. In ancient Israel, people walked away from the Holy God and worshipped man-made idols–Molech, the cow god; Asherah poles; and Ishtar, the fertility god. They did this on the high places and under every spreading tree (2 Kings 16:4).
Man’s attraction to high places extended into their building projects. They built the Tower of Babel in the plain of Shinar, not to give glory to God, but to make a name for themselves. The same spirit of pride has infiltrated the building of skyscrapers over the whole earth. While building tall buildings is not evil, in and of itself, we have to evaluate the intent. After Israel was defeated, her inhabitants said, “The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with dressed stone; the fig trees have been felled, but we will replace them with cedars” (Isaiah 9:10). These are not the words of self-evaluation for why they experienced defeat or repentance for their sin, but these are words of defiance–defiance to enemies and to God.
THINK ABOUT IT
Consider for a moment what happened after 9/11/2001 on American soil. The Governor of New York made this proclamation from the floor of Ground Zero: “Today, we, the heirs of that revolutionary spirit of defiance, lay this cornerstone.” A beautiful quarried stone was laid as the cornerstone of a building to replace one of the towers. The project faced many problems, and it was finally cancelled (The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn).
PRAY ABOUT IT
O Lord, forgive our nation for its sins of pride, arrogance and defiance. We pray for revival–that our nation will repent and return to You, most Holy God. Empower us to lead in the revival so many will come to know your love and experience eternal life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.