July 19, 2018
Volume 22, Number 25
I recently returned from a trip to Ecuador, South America, my first visit to that land. I have a great love for mountains, being raised in Southeastern Kentucky. But the mountains I saw in Ecuador were beyond anything I’ve ever seen in the Appalachians!
Our group stayed at a camp near the base of Mount Cayambe, a volcano that reaches nearly 19,000 feet. Snow caps its peak year-round, but we only caught sight of that peak a couple of days; normally it is shrouded by clouds. Our residence was situated at 10,000 feet – more than twice the elevation of the tallest mountain in Kentucky – and my lungs frequently reminded me how thin the air was.
Tall mountains are common in Ecuador, as the Andes Mountain Range runs through that country. Cayambe is the third-highest summit in that country. How can one not be awestruck as you gaze upon such majestic peaks?
Mountains have always held a certain mystique over people, it seems. In 1 Kings 20 we read about a military campaign between Israel and Syria. The first battle was fought in the hills of Samaria, and Israel routed the aggressors. Syria’s military “minds”, upon reflection, felt certain they had discovered the key to victory.
“Their gods are gods of the hills,” the king’s servants told him. “Therefore they were stronger than we; but if we fight against them in the plain, surely we will be stronger than they” (1 Kings 20:23). They felt they had discovered a weakness in Israel’s “gods”.
God heard that consultation, and He informed the king of Israel that His power would be displayed in the plains, too, “and you shall know that I am the Lord” (1 Kings 20:28). Syria learned painfully that day that God is sovereign over the plains as well as the hills.
Psalm 121 is a favorite of many, as it speaks of the hope we have in God. It opens with these words: “I will lift up my eyes to the hills – From whence comes my help?” (Psalm 121:1). The New Living Translation words the question in this way: “I look up to the mountains – does my help come from there?”
Since 1896 Prudential Insurance Agency has used the Rock of Gibraltar as its logo. To make the idea clearer, the phrase “Get a piece of the rock” was trademarked and has been the core of advertising campaigns. This hill of a rock certainly suggests strength.
But let’s not make the mistake the Syrians made; the strength is not in the hills or in the rock. As the psalmist went on to make clear, “My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:2). Our security will not come from mountains or from financial companies that use mountains as logos. Our help comes from God.
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
Copyright, 2018, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
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