We in ABC/VNH know about mountains – the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the Green Mountains of Vermont. Many of our churches stand within sight of mountains. My town of Sandwich, NH, is nestled up against the White Mountain National Forest. Every day as I drive through the town I can glimpse Mount Israel, Mount Whiteface, and Mount Chocorua, among others. One of my favorite short hikes is just over the Sandwich line in Holderness. A half hour walk up Mount Rattlesnake is rewarded with a fabulous view of Squam Lake. Yes, we live in a beautiful part of the country.
The Holy Land also has mountains, both in Galilee and Judea. Jerusalem is constructed on seven mountains, one of which is called Mount Zion, so it is not surprising that the psalmist would think of God and his relation-ship to his people Israel in terms of mountains. Psalm 125 starts out with two statements. One describes the person who trusts in God.; the second describes God dwelling with his people.
The Psalm begins: “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides for-ever.” Can you imagine humans trying to move Mount Washington? It cannot be done! The winter storms buffet it and the rains pound against it, and yet it stands … seemingly forever. Only God, working through erosion over the eons, can bring mountains down. In the same way, we cannot be moved by the storms of life when we trust in God.
The Psalm continues, “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people from this time forth and forever.” If you have ever been to Israel, you know that the city of Jerusalem is not only built on mountains, it is also surrounded by mountains. Among them is the Mount of Olives from which one can see a beautiful panorama of the city and the surrounding area. The mountains that surround the city have served as a natural defense for Jerusalem in times of war.
In the same way, the Lord surrounds his people. The prophet Isaiah says, “For the Lord is my stronghold and my sure defense.” As the walls of a fortress protect us from enemies, so does God protect us.
David says in Psalm 18, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust.” God surrounds us as the mountains of New England surround our churches. And like the mountains, we will never be moved when we place our trust in him.
- Marshall Davis
The Grafton Church and their pastor Christine Dyke
First Baptist Church, Hampton and their pastor Mark Lowe
Al Hall, Treasurer, ABC/VNH