When God comes on the scene our mountains crumble.
He moves mountains without their knowing it and overturns them in his anger. Job 9:5
I love that phrase: He moves mountains without their knowing it. Some commentators say that “without their knowing it” means suddenly, or “before they know anything.” But the meaning that caught my heart was, “God does not know it, meaning, it is so trifling to God that he can do it without thinking.”i God just has to show up for the mountains to melt:
The mountains melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. Psalms 97:5
God says through Ezekiel (38:20 ESV) that at his presence “the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground.” All the mountains, every wall.
We all have mountains in our lives, some of us suffer very big mountains, and their removal is no trifling matter to us. But God moves mountains without even trying.
Job says that God overturns the mountains in his anger. When he is angry at injustice or angry because we are being beat up by the enemy of our souls. This is echoed by David in Psalm 18.
In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he was angry. Psalm 18:6-7
I love this image! But Habakkuk says something even more wonderful for many of us stuck in despair in hopelessness.
He stood, and shook the earth; he looked, and made the nations tremble. The ancient mountains crumbled and the age-old hills collapsed. Habakkuk 3:6
The ancient mountains – the perpetual, continuous, seemingly forever mountains – those mountains that have always been there, handed down through the generations. The cycles of addiction and abuse, the seemingly permanent soul-wounds, the misery, futility, failure. They crumble, they melt, they fall down. The word translated “stood” also means “to take a stand,” to arise, appear, come on the scene. When God comes on the scene our mountains crumble.
God is so powerful to save that we need only the tiniest bit of that power to move our mountains. We do this by faith. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
This is so hard for those of us who have embraced the lie. The lie that there is no help for me. It is hopeless. It has always been this way. Nothing will change. It’s impossible. We have to ask him to show us these lies that have sunk so deep and mangled our souls. We have to reject them, ask forgiveness, and let the truth repair and restore our hearts.
For while God moves mountains without even thinking about it by just showing up, he also moves mountains by taking a stand against our enemy, by arising to help us, by responding to our cry for help. We do have help. It’s not impossible. Cry out to him. Let him be there with you. Dwell in his mountain-moving Presence.
“Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered!” Psalm 68:1 (KJV)
Image, Detail from photo by Derek Bair, all right reserved