We build castles and forts on mountains. On hills, we build farm houses and barns.
This is the relationship the Poet describes in reference to the nation’s King:
That he may rule your people righteously and the poor with justice.
and the little hills bring righteousness.
Metaphorically, mountains represent big ideas while hills represent the daily truths that occupy the details of our lives. It is said that we cannot live on the mountaintop and to a great extent it is true. Mountaintops are for pilgrimage and recreation and are useful when elevation is needed to see what is in the distance.
We come home from the mountaintop to dwell among the hills. Keeping the mountain in view through the bedroom window, we can rest in our hilltop home, secure and safe with all we own within easy reach.
The rule of our King is equally strong on the mountains as on the hills.
The righteousness of God is a mighty mountain, eternal—He has never been anything except righteous—and impervious to the erosive effects of time. It is the theme of worship in both the Old and the New Covenants—God is good and His mercy endures to all generations!
God’s love and His mercy form a mountain range of protection around those in Covenant with Him. No enemy can cross these mountains at any point. Out hilltop dwellings are safe in the shadow of the Almighty.
The truth of God is the highest peak of all. From the lofty heights of the Word of God we can clearly see to each horizon. We gain a perspective on the smaller issues somewhere down the mountainside that we could never see from the trails going up or down.
Justice is the joy of the hills—truth, love, mercy, and righteousness at work in our homes and businesses.
It takes all the mountains to produce justice on the hills. Justice without mercy would not be loving. Mercy without truth would not be just. If these things are not all in order all at once the hills would not be safe for houses and barns.
Here is the redeeming order:
- It is true that we have sinned.
- It is also true that God made us and loves us.
- In His mercy He sent His Son to bear our sins far away.
- The righteousness of Christ has been credited to our record and the case is closed.
- We have been justified by the Love of God in Christ Jesus!
We are free to build our lives on the gentle hills of daily discipline and obedience, praise and prayer, and with skillful hands and hearts.
In the shadow of the King’s Castle on the friendly mountain, we can till the fields on the hills, tend our flocks in the broad pastures, and rest each night in perfect peace in our hilltop homes.
Give the King your justice, O God, and your righteousness to the King’s Son; That he may rule your people righteously and the poor with justice. That the mountains may bring prosperity to the people, and the little hills bring righteousness. He shall defend the needy among the people; he shall rescue the poor and crush the oppressor. He shall live as long as the sun and moon endure, from one generation to another. He shall come down like rain upon the mown field, like showers that water the earth. In his time shall the righteous flourish; there shall be abundance of peace till the moon shall be no more. He shall rule from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. His foes shall bow down before him, and his enemies lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall pay tribute, and the kings of Arabia and Saba offer gifts. All kings shall bow down before him, and all the nations do him service. For he shall deliver the poor who cries out in distress, and the oppressed who has no helper. He shall have pity on the lowly and poor; he shall preserve the lives of the needy. He shall redeem their lives from oppression and violence, and dear shall their blood be in his sight. Long may he live! and may there be given to him gold from Arabia; may prayer be made for him always, and may they bless him all the day long. May there be abundance of grain on the earth, growing thick even on the hilltops; may its fruit flourish like Lebanon, and its grain like grass upon the earth. May his Name remain forever and be established as long as the sun endures; may all the nations bless themselves in him and call him blessed. Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous deeds! And blessed be his glorious Name forever! and may all the earth be filled with his glory. Amen. Amen.
Psalm 72:1-4;16 NIV
Endow the king with your justice, O God, the royal son with your righteousness.
He will judge your people in righteousness, your afflicted ones with justice. The mountains will bring prosperity to the people, the hills the fruit of righteousness. He will defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy; he will crush the oppressor. …Let grain abound throughout the land; on the tops of the hills may it sway.
Isaiah 55:12-13 NIV
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord ‘s renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed.”
Amos 5:24 NIV
But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!
Lord Jesus, thank You for the mountains, the towering truths that do not change. Thank You for four horizons lined with these comforting peaks. Thank You also, the hills, these present blessings that make up my life: home, family, work, prayer, health, and hope among so many others. Because You are the author of it, my life is multi-dimensional, mountains and hills and streams in the valleys, constant health from Your hand. Thank You, Jesus.
Peace in the Valley
Words and Music: Thomas A. Dorsey
1. Well, I’m tired and so weary
But I must go along
Till the Lord comes and calls me away
Where the morning’s so bright
And the Lamb is the light
And the night, night is as fair as the day.
There will be peace in the valley For me some day
There will be peace in the valley
For me, Oh Lord I pray
There’ll be no sadness
No sorrow, no trouble I see
There will be peace In the valley for me.
2. Well, the flowers will be blooming
And the grass will be green
And the skies will be clear and serene
Where the sun ever beams
In this valley of dreams
And no cloud will be seen.
3. Well, the bear will be gentle
And the wolf will be tame
And the lion shall lay down By the lamb, oh yes.
And the beasts from the wild Shall be led by a child
And I’ll be changed,
Changed from this creature that I am.
© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved