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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading
Have you ever seen the documentary video which shows video footage of the events which occurred around a certain tree, over a year's time? (See the video above.) A nature videographer set up a camera with a motion sensor which caused the camera to only come on when there was something moving around the tree. I find it fascinating to see all the wildlife interacting in the space around the tree. The tree was a part of many natural events, which would have been unknown to us, since trees cannot talk. But this video sort of gives the tree a voice to tell its "story".
While the natural occurrences around the tree are interesting, there are some places with far greater stories to tell than the forest tree. Consider the stories Mount Moriah could tell, if a mountain could speak... Well, actually the story of this mountain can be told, because it is recorded in Scripture. But unlike the video of the tree, which only spanned a single year, the story of Mount Moriah spans centuries and many generations. Yet the great things God did on that Mountain are still impacting our lives to this day.
Mount Moriah’s written history begins in Genesis. In the twenty-second chapter, God commands Abraham,
“Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will tell you” (Genesis 22:2).
The place God led Abraham was Mount Moriah. Abraham didn’t fully understand what God was asking him to do in light of God’s previous promise to establish an everlasting covenant with Isaac (Genesis 17:19); nonetheless, he trusted God and by faith offered Isaac as a sacrifice. Of course, God intervened and spared Isaac’s life by providing a ram instead. Abraham thereafter called this place “Yahweh Will Provide. And to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of Yahweh it will be provided’” (Genesis 22:14).
Because of Abraham’s obedience on Mount Moriah, God told Abraham that his “descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed because you have obeyed me” (vv. 17, 18).
About a thousand years later at this very location, King David bought the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite and built an altar to the Lord so that a “plague may be held back from the people” (2 Samuel 24:18, 21). After David’s death, his son King Solomon built a glorious temple on the same site. Solomon’s temple lasted for over four hundred years until it was destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar’s armies in 587/586 B.C.
As I already shared in my January 15 blog, Mount Moriah is also the place where our dear Saviour died. It is interesting to notice that all these events- from Abraham offering Isaac, who was replaced by a ram; to the death angel of judgment; to Calvary itself - Mount Moriah gives a total picture of Atonement. Atonement is about Judgment. Atonement is about Yah providing Himself a ram. Atonement is about the Blood of Yahshua which cleanses us from all sin.
And in the story of Mount Moriah, a story spanning centuries and generations, the who picture of what Atonement really means is unforgettably portrayed. Through the pages of Scripture the stones of Moriah are crying out. And I am so very thankful for God's Atoning Message in this Mountain.
So, today, I'd like to leave you with a song: I believe in a Hill Called Mount Calvary.