Echoes From the Campfire

Look to the hills.  They are quiet.  The storms sweep over them and are gone, and most of man’s troubles pass the same way.  Whenever you feel that things are getting too much for you, go to the mountains or the desert—it smooths out the wrinkles in your mind.”
              –Louis L’Amour (Brionne)

    “And it will come to pass in that day That the mountains shall drip with new wine, The hills shall flow with milk, And all the brooks of Judah shall be flooded with water; A fountain shall flow from the house of the Lord And water the Valley of Acacias.”
              –Joel 3:18 (NKJV)
              “Farewell to the mountains
               Whose mazes to me
               More beautiful far
               Than Eden could be…”
                    –Davy Crockett

I have heard that the ocean, the desert, and mountains are hard to shake if that is where you’ve been raised, or where you live.  For me, it’s the mountains.  Situations, circumstances, etc., have kept me from going back to live in the mountains, but at least I made it to the woods.
    I’ve been throughout the Colorado Rockies, spent some time in Wyoming, went through Montana and also the Sierra Nevada.  The mountains of Texas, the Chisos and Guadalupe are rugged, as well as those in Arizona.  I’ve traveled in the mountains of New Mexico; camped in several of the mountains of the East.  My, my, there is something about mountains that stirs down deep to the depths of my soul.
    Psalm 48 starts with a view of a mountain, Mount Zion, which is referred to as the “holy mountain.”  Read this Psalm in the context of the mountain, the city of Jerusalem, and the idea that many times in Scripture when the term “mountain” appears it is referring to the place of God’s government.

    1 – The Lord is great and highly praised in the city of our God.  His holy mountain,
    2 – rising splendidly, is the joy of the whole earth.  Mount Zion on the slopes of the north is the city of the great King.
    3 – God is known as a stronghold in its citadels.
    4 – Look! The kings assembled; they advanced together.
    5 – They looked and froze with fear; they fled in terror.
    6 – Trembling seized them there, agony like that of a woman in labor,
    7 – as You wrecked the ships of Tarshish with the east wind.
    8 – Just as we heard, so we have seen in the city of Yahweh of Hosts, in the city of our God; God will establish it forever.  Selah (HCSB)

Look at these verses in two different contexts:  first, the actual city of Jerusalem; second, the heavenly city, the home of God.  Most likely terror never griped anyone in the heavenly Jerusalem, but it was attacked.  There was a rebellion in the city.
    Think for a moment of another aspect in regard to Mount Zion and the city of Jerusalem.  Robert Allen states, “Zion is only beautiful and glad because the temple is there, and in that temple the God of heaven made his earthly sanctuary.”  The focus in this Psalm is the attacks on Jerusalem and God’s saving grace.  “If Jerusalem is an exhibit for His past deliverances, so are we.  If God is great within the city of David, then let Him be great in us.” (George O. Wood)
    The city was great because of the Temple, but friends, look at what Paul writes,

           “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
                   –1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NKJV)

“Life in Christ does come with a spectacular view–in Him we reach our full potential.” (Wood)  We are blessed because now God resides in us; we are His “temple.”  God did deliver Jerusalem many times.  He will deliver us many times.  He delivers from the attacks of the enemy, from disease (including the corona), emotional disturbances such as depression, lack of self-esteem, lack of self-worth, fear.  “Though many battles have been won, a greater Day is coming when forces that sought to destroy us will be astounded, flee in terror, tremble, and have pain as a woman in labor.  They will be destroyed, smashed like ships against the rocks.” (Wood)

           “Glorious things of thee are spoken,
            Zion, city of our God;
            He whose word cannot be broken
            Formed thee for his own abode.”
                  –John Newton

    As Jerusalem is the city of our God, so let us never forget that we are His temple.  He lives within us as well, and one day, this bodily temple, will reside in the great heavenly, holy city–Jerusalem that sits on Mount Zion.