Summer! Such a wonderful season, especially here in the beautiful Treasure Valley and state of Idaho. The opportunities for summer recreation are numerous, and we only have to look around to see examples of some of the most beautiful mountains in the world! Escaping to them is a joyful experience, alone or in company with others, whether for an hour, a day or extended period. They touch us deeply in indescribable ways, so it is not surprising that the writer of Psalm 148:7-11 wrote:
“Praise the Lord from the earth…Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars! Beasts and all livestock, creeping things and flying birds! Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth!”
The very mountains declare God’s glory and we are witnesses of this song of praise as we partake of this bounty of nature surrounding us. Jesus, during his earthly ministry, also had much to do in the mountains around Judea where he walked. In fact, he used them in similar ways to refresh his spirit, as we see in Mark 6:46 when he had been with the people and fed over 5,000 men plus women and children:
“And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray.”
Even Jesus, who created those very mountains, was able to use them as a place of renewal and connection with his Father.
Jesus, being a master teacher, also used the special features of those mountains as a teaching platform, as we see in John chapter 6, a parallel scripture to Mark’s account:
“After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples…When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.” John 6:1-3, 14-15
After Jesus rose from death, he instructed his disciples to meet him on a mountain in Galilee where he gave them their final instructions before returning to his Father in heaven:
“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” Matthew 28:16-20
Yes, we can truly “Praise the Lord from the earth” for providing such beautiful mountains that declare his glory, renew our spirits, and refresh our minds! The greatest renewal is found in Jesus when we obey the gospel and submit to his teachings. We invite you to come and meet him today!