Come to the mountain…..

When I was reading my Bible this morning, the reading plan had me in Genesis 19. You know the story. God is about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. The angel is talking to Lot, and telling him that he needs to get his family and scoot. If he doesn’t, he will be a crispy critter. Verse 17 of that chapter tells Lot to take his family and ‘escape to the mountain.’

Like so many of us, Lot argued with God’s messenger. He pleaded with the Angel, saying that he would die in the mountain, could he please stay in a little town called Zoar. After all, Lot said, it is a very little village. In my Mom’s eye view, I can see the exasperated Angel acquiesce.  “Hurry,” he says, “I can do nothing here until you get there.”

After Lot arrived in Zoar, it was not all he expected. We see in verse 30, ‘ he went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain.’ Now I don’t know what happened in Zoar, but obviously, it was not the utopia that Lot envisioned. According to the Jewish Bible, Zoar was just as wicked at Sodom, and was slated to be destroyed. Only Lot’s request that he might settle there, saved this city. It was ironic to me while I was reading this morning that Lot tried so hard to avoid the mountain on the one hand, but fled to the mountain only a short while later.

When I think about the ‘mountain’, I can’t help but wonder which mountain it was. Was it Zion? Sinai? Carmel? I can’t find the exact mountain.   I guess it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that the Angel told Lot to go to the mountain. When I look at scripture, I see that the ‘mountain’ is a place of wisdom. It is a place of safety, it is a place of provision.

Moses received the 10 Commandments on the Mountain. Exodus 24:12-18 And the Lord said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.  And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God. And he said unto the elders, Tarry ye here for us, until we come again unto you: and, behold, Aaron and Hur are with you: if any man have any matters to do, let him come unto them.  And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount.  And the glory of the Lord abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud.  And the sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.  And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.

Joshua 2:16 And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterward may ye go your way.

Genesis 22: 13-14 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.  And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.

As I was looking at Genesis 19 today, I had to laugh and ponder. Did the Angel tell Lot to go to the mountain for safety, wisdom and provision? What is God telling us? Is He asking us to go to the ‘mountain’, but we are wanting to go to a tiny city instead? If so, could we/are we missing out on wisdom, provision and safety?

Until next time,

Dr. Polly