“The mountains are calling, and I must go,” opined John Muir, the 19th century Scottish-American naturalist, author, and glaciologist, known as the “Father of the National Parks.”
Since our honeymoon, 51+ years ago in the Smoky Mountains, Norma Jean and I have always enjoyed visiting the mountains. From the White Mountains in New Hampshire to the Rocky Mountains in the West, to Alaska’s Denali, we’ve been blessed to enjoy the beauty, serenity and majesty of these Divine wonders.
Currently, we’re in the Whitefish Mountain Range in Montana, just west of Glacier National Park. We’re at 4600′ elevation. But this range peaks at almost 8800′. And the highest peak in Glacier is 10,466′.
Tuesday as we drove through Glacier up Going-To-The-Sun road we oohed and aahed around each bend of the road. Every sight seemed to transcend the previous one. The words “awesome,” “amazing,” and “breathtaking,” were frequent and not overstated.
Being in the midst of this incredible natural beauty, I cannot help but be reminded of how Old Testament writers speak of God’s creation, especially the mountains. “You formed the mountains with your power and armed yourself with mighty strength,” penned the Psalmist. In another place he proclaimed, “The mountains of Bashan are majestic, with many peaks stretching high into the sky.”
The prophet Isaiah declared, “The majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They will see the glory of the Lord, The majesty of our God.”
In a Psalm of praise King David exclaimed, “On the glorious splendor of Your majesty And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.”
The point of Paul’s inspired words are monumentally manifested in the mountains: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”
Creation cries “there is a Creator!” It didn’t just happen. It wasn’t an accident. It wasn’t the result of blind chance. The mountains shout, “There is a God!” And the splendor of Glacier showcases The Almighty’s majesty.
There is more than one Hebrew word translated into our English word “majesty.” Together they speak of beauty. Glory. Honor. Power. Excellency. Dignity. Triumph. Splendor. These words described Jehovah God and the majestic world He created.
God has revealed himself in two books. The book of revelation, that we call the Bible. And the book of nature, of which Paul said declared God’s invisible qualities. His eternal power. His divine nature.
Chris Seidman, a Texas preacher, expressed it this way, “God has made it possible for us to come to know Him through the visible and tangible things of our world. Have you ever looked at a sunset and been reminded of who’s really in charge in this world?”
“Have you ever gawked at majestic mountain peaks and been jerked back into the reality of how much bigger God is than you and your problems? Have you ever shaken your head at the brilliant lines, patterns and colors on the wings of a butterfly and contemplated the stunningly detailed imagination of the Creator? Then you’ve seen God’s glory and encountered the efforts of a Father longing to be recognized by His children.”
And yet I know the Psalmist was right that God is more majestic than Mount Cleveland, Glacier’s highest peak, when he wrote, “You are glorious and more majestic than the everlasting mountains.” They are the natural evidence of who He is. The mountains proclaim God’s power. God’s might. God’s majesty. Indeed, Jehovah “holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains.”
Furthermore, we’re reminded that remarkable events have occurred on mountain tops. Noah landed the ark on top of Mount Ararat after the flood. God revealed himself to Moses on Mt. Sinai. Elijah challenged the false prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, where we were privileged to stand last summer. And Jesus arguably proclaimed the world’s greatest sermon on a mountain top.
Indeed, “the mountains are calling.” Calling us to our Creator. Calling us to closer communion with our Lord. Calling us to greater heights. And calling us to set our sights on the glories that await us above their snow-capped peaks.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman