By Nick Batzig
I have always loved being in the mountains. Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of living in the Blue Ridge Mountains, hiking the Sangre de Christo Mountains, traveling through the German Alps, skiing the French Alps and the Rockies, and flying around the seemingly endless Alaskan Mountain ranges. There is something mystical and majestic about these natural structures that tower over the rest of creation. In addition to their natural majesty, Scripture actually has quite a lot to say about the theological significance of mountains.
The garden of Eden sat on the top of a mountain (Ezekiel 28:14-16). This is why God later appeared to Moses at the top of Sinai and Elijah at Horeb. It also explains why He ordained that both the King’s house and the temple would be built high on top of a mountain of Jerusalem. Mountains capture something of the transcendence and exaltation of the Most High God. It should, then, come as no surprise to us that when the prophet Micah speaks of the gospel age and blessings, he does so by way of drawing off of the illustration of a mountain.
In order to pave the way for spiritual mountain imagery, the Lord first has Micah prophesy of the judgment the nation deserves on account of their corrupt religious leaders. Having laid bare the many injustices of His prophets and priests (Micah 3:5-11)—the fact that they hated good and loved evil (Micah 3:2)—the Lord promised to plow Zion as a field and leave Jerusalem “a heap of ruins” (Micah 3:12). They would be like a pile of discarded wood. God promised He would level Israel to the ground for all of the greed, idolatry, and falsehood of their religious leaders.
Against this background, Micah then prophesied of the forthcoming gospel blessings, when “the mountain of the Lord’s house will be established at the top of the mountains and will be raised above the hills” (Micah 4:1). Then the peoples and nations will come to the heavenly Zion to hear the Word of God and to worship the living God in truth.
The writer of Hebrews picks up on this and explains that the mountain of mountains is Mount Zion—”the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” where we come to “an innumerable company of angels… the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven… God the Judge of all… the spirits of just men made perfect… Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant” (Hebrews 12:22-24). It is there that we “will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever” (Micah 4:5).
Mountains are glorious on their own. But to walk on the mountain of the Lord with the Lord will be a glory like no other. This is a glory in which all who call on the name of Christ are destined to walk.
Written by Nick Batzig