|Mountains of PeaceBy Chris Josephson
"Of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by him; and the LORD shall cover him all the day long...for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills" (Deut. 33:12,15).
The whole 33rd chapter of Davarim (Deuteronomy) relates Moses dying blessing on the 12 tribes. The above portion is from the blessing on Benjamin and Joseph, the 2 sons of Rachel.
Last words of great men are important. As they conclude their pilgrimage here and enter into their eternal rest, pearls of wisdom and prophetic utterances come forth. How true this was from the lips of the great Prophet Moses. Almost with his dying breath, he blessed the tribes of Israel, and spelled out Gods future plans concerning them.
Maale Michmash, in the Benjamin mountains, is the settlement we chose for the Bible Light Almond Orchard last year when Yehudit Tayar (PR and spokesperson for the Yesha Office in Jerusalem) drove me through these mountains. Explained before in this publication is the reason Maale Michmash was chosen. (Write us for the booklet.) The region of Judea and Samaria (which includes Benjamin) is the most strategic portion of the land because they hold the mountain range, the backbone, the heartland of Israel. We bow our heads in shame when we remember it was our US Secretary of State who coined the lie: The greatest obstacle to peace are the Jewish settlements on the West Bank. Who shall we believe? Baker or Moses? The answer to THAT question reaches into:
The Kingdom of God
Quite the contrary to the above falsehood, the mountains
are the greatest bulwark to peace. Why? ·
·They represent Gods care for His people: "As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever" (Psalm 125:2).
·They are symbolic of His righteousness: "Thy righteousness is like the great mountains...." (Psalm 36:6).
·And of His strength: "By terrible [terrific and awesome] things in righteousness wilt thou answer us, O God of our salvation...which by his strength setteth fast the mountains...." (Psalm 65 5 & 6 - to be enlightened and encouraged, read the whole Psalm).
·But here is the clincher: "The mountains shall bring peace to the people...." (Psalm 72:3). What does THAT mean?
·"His foundation is in the holy mountains" (Psalm 87:1). From here came the foundation truths of His covenant which was the dawn of redemption: Genesis 12:1-3,6-8; 13:14-18; 26:2-4; 28:10-17 relate the Everlasting Covenant given to Abraham, confirmed to Isaac and Jacob in these mountains.
·Center stage in these mountains, and also center-stage of the world, is Jerusalem. JERUSALEM is the real issue - "FOR out of Zion shall go forth the LAW and the WORD of the LORD from Jerusalem" (Isaiah 2:3 AND Micah 4:2). How the worlds population needs this healing WORD and righteous LAWS.
·"And I will make all my mountains a WAY, and MY HIGHWAYS shall be exalted" (Isaiah 49:11). "Mountains" in Scripture represent kingdoms. All "mountains" except HIS will fall. It is this SPIRITUAL mountain, way and highway that the physical mountains of Israel symbolize. Will He then let them be destroyed? Is it any wonder satanic forces are trying to bring about that destruction? It is futile for anyone or any force to undertake such, for the ONE whose feet are upon those mountains brings GOOD tidings, publishes PEACE, GOOD tidings of GOOD, publishes SALVATION [deliverance from every evil] and says to Zion, "YOUR GOD REIGNS" (Isaiah 52:7 and Nahum 1:15).
Cause of Desolation
Because the mountains of God became defiled with idolatry - and all that goes with such moral degradation - the mountains themselves became desolate and Gods people wandered as sheep upon the other mountains (kingdoms) of the earth (Ezekiel 33:28 & 34:6). Not only so, but they got no guidance from false shepherds (teachers - both Jewish and Christian): "My people hath been lost sheep; their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains [of the nations]; they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace.
"All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the LORD . . . ." (Jeremiah 50:6 & 7).
BUT NOW: "I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel, by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel" (Ezekiel 34:13-14, Please read again Jeremiah 32:44 and 33:13 !).
Cause for Coming Judgment
But woe to Israels enemies who will fall and be judged on\by the mountains. Take a look at Isaiah 13:3-6 (Whew!) and Ezekiel 35:8,12, also 38:20-21; 39:2,4,17, along with many others.
However, Ezekiel goes on in chapters 36 and 37 to give great promises to "the mountains of Israel", including: "And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all" (Ezekiel 37:22).
Keep in mind when reading prophecy that it has a near and far application. In one chapter a prophet may be speaking of judgment on ancient Israel, judgment of the nations in latter days - but always restoration and blessing is the outcome.
Judgment and mercy go hand in hand. Is that incomprehensible? It would be unrighteous of God to let the world go on in such rebellion and darkness. His plans are for RIGHT and LIGHT.
"For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declares unto man what is his thought [cf, Psalm 139:2b], that maketh the morning darkness, and treads upon the high places of the earth. The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name" (Amos 4:13).
Dont you think that settles it?