Ascension Day

Overdenking

The Mountain of the Lord


The highest mountain in the Netherlands is the Vaalserberg (322 m), which is near the three-country point (Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands). Not very impressive. If you read the bible stories, you will notice that a lot of things happen fairly often in the mountains. In the Old Testament, God descended on mount Horeb, in the Sinai desert. Here, Moses met the Almighty and received the Ten Commandments. Moses asked if he could see the Almighty. 


‘I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”  And He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.”  And the LORD said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by.  Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.’ (Exodus 33:19-23).


Moses had entered the cloud of God to get close to the Almighty. But see God, he could not. Only ‘the back’.  And only when God had passed by. It is a thought that was understood by the church fathers from the early church, as entering the cloud of not knowing. Only in this way, we can come to God. The closer to God, the less you know. Could it be that? 


Instinctively, you have to climb the mountain to get closer to the Almighty. This symbolism was often used. Like David does in Psalm 24:3-4.


Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?


Or who may stand in His holy place?


He who has clean hands and a pure heart,


Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,


Nor sworn deceitfully.


Who can get to God? Who is good enough? Who is able to get close to the mystery of the Almighty?