95+6 of 6–The Mountain Top

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I’m assuming we have all had that “mountain-top” experience, a time when time itself stands still, a time when your breathing stops and vistas pass-by your mind’s eye in slow motion, waves beating against the beach, hawks taking flight over the prairie, eagles soaring over glaciers sliding down and around majestic mountains, a time when your hair stands up on end and goosebumps and chills race down your back, and when even your scalp feels the tingly electric waves, as if transported to heaven or some other world for just a few moments, frozen, in who knows what, and you hear that—voice—that still soft whisper telling you your something special, that you were made for something more, something great. And it was real. It happened. You felt it. You heard it, and you were alone.

I’ve found these mountain-top experiences happen, most of the time, when I’m alone, or more correctly when I’m alone with God. I don’t know how to explain it really. I can only say you have to experience it for yourself. When looking over the cliff’s edge, feeling the wind in your hair and the warm sun on your face, hearing the Meadow Lark behind you, seeing the eagle souring before you, looking over hundreds of miles of earth’s beauty, I’m overwhelmed at what God has created and what He’s given me to enjoy. Like a boy in a candy store, or a teenager buying his first car, or the time when you said, “I do,” the moment is riveted to your memory; it’s burned into your heart. That’s some of the relationship God wants for all of us.

God’s Creation

God has placed an amazing world at our fingertips, adventures and challenges just waiting for us to enjoy with Him, biking, snorkeling, skin diving, mountain climbing, bird watching, rock collecting to name just a few. He’s given us millions of things to remember Him by: the starry sky loaded with stars, quasars, and comets, the romantic moon in its various phases, imposing mountains and crags, and peaceful valleys filled with fields of Columbines, asters, and daisies, and puffy clouds that dance and dissolve and reappear over time.

Time to be with God

God gave us time. Not only are we alive 60-seconds of every minute and 60-minutes of every hour, but we also live 2,366,820,000 seconds in a 75-year life span, that’s 2.366 billion seconds, and some of that time God made extra special. Built into God’s plan to uplift and heal His wayward friends, He set aside time for each one of us to enjoy Him. God longs for us to spend time with Him, to ask Him the hard questions about life, to pray, to meditate on the world He made and His goodness. It’s part of God’s plan to redeem us, to heal. So before we fell from grace, before Adam and Eve chose to reject God and believe Satan’s lies, God placed safeguards into creation; He gave humanity a day of rest, a day to remember Him and how He loves us.

Oh, how badly we need that reassurance. Knowing that the King of the universe cares for each of us, just like we are, individually, by ourselves, alone. What a gift, knowing God has already reserved time to be with me, just me, just you. The day was not intended to be a burden; it was supposed to be a delight. When is not working a burden, and when is being with the King of the universe not a pleasure? In our sinful condition, it’s even more important to us than it was in Eden to spend time with the Almighty. Sin has torn humanity to shreds, and we would do well to spend time with our Healer, our Friend, and our God, time to be refreshed and renewed.

The Seventh Day

God created our world in six days and rested the seventh. God led Israel out of Egyptian bondage and said remember the seventh. He toppled Jerico after Israel circled the city seven times. He made Noah and his family wait seven days in the ark before flooding the world. God pointed out seven clean animals to eat; Jacob had to work seven years for Leah and seven more for Rachael; Midian was given seven children;  There were seven years of drought and seven years of plenty in Egypt; servants were set free after serving seven years; priests wore their garments for seven days; God instructed Israel to construct lamp-stands with seven lamps. There are scores of Biblical events associating the true God and His love and protection with the number seven.

In the New Testament Jesus healed the man’s withered hand, cast out unclean spirits, healed Peter’s mother-in-law, healed the man by the pool of Bethesda, and gave back the blind mans’ sight, all on the seventh day. Then, to top it off, Jesus Himself, rested in the tomb on the seventh day, just after His crucifixion.

Which day of the week has the greatest associations paired with it? Jews rest on Saturday the seventh-day, because it says so in the Bible’s 10-Commandments. Muslims rest on Friday because they didn’t want to be associated with the Jewish religion. The early Christian church changed their day of worship about 200 to 300 years after Jesus died because they didn’t want to be associated with the Jewish religion either. But if you use the Bible and the Bible only, and don’t depend on tradition, the seventh day has the most meaning linked to it; it’s paired with God’s most significant events.

Friday and Sunday

If you look through the Bible for events that occur on Friday, the Muslim’s day of rest, you won’t find many references, but when you do, they’ll be associated with preparing for the Seventh-day Sabbath. And if you look through the Bible for events that occur on the first day of the week, Sunday, you’ll find about a dozen texts:

Mark 16:9 Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons.

John 20:1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb.

John 20:1-2 So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”

Matthew 28:1 Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave.

Mark 16:1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices so that they might come and anoint Him.

Mark 16:2 Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.

Acts 20:7 On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight.

1 Corinthians 16:2 On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper so that no collections be made when I come.

Genesis 1:5 God called the light day, and the darkness He called night And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

Leviticus 23:11 He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD for you to be accepted; on the day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.

John 20:19 So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

Luke 24:1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.

If you knew nothing of the controversy between Muslims, Jews, and Christians, and if you didn’t already know the fourth commandment says to keep the seventh day holy, and you had to figure out which day was the most significant, the day most closely associated with the King of Kings, our loving Creator, which day would you suggest?

 

0. Others in the series 95 Martin Luther’s 95 Theses

1. Others in the series 95+1 The War in Heaven

2. Others in the series 95+2 Immortality

3. Others in the series 95+3 Two Resurrections

4. Others in the series 95+4 Jesus Father

5. Others in the series 95+5 Wrath

6. Others in the series 95+6 The Mountain Top

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