Going ‘Round the Mountain, Again?
Have you ever awakened to the realization that if you don’t make a speedy U-turn you would be “heading ‘round the mountain” again? For everyone who struggles with the same temptations, resentments, anger, bitterness, rejections, sullenness, rebellions, idolatries, etc., over and over again you can appreciate what it means to ‘go round the mountain again’. YHVH says He disciplines, tests, tries us, for the purpose of refining us into His image. When we are tested we either pass or fail, if we pass we get to move on to another area of refining; if we fail we get to do a repeat, thus we “go ‘round the mountain again.”
Is it our lot in this life to be beset by the same struggles resulting in the same responses that send us once again on the same course?
The Word that became flesh and dwelt among us said of Himself through the prophet Jeremiah chapter 29 verses 11-13, “For I know the plans that I have for you, declares YHVH, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
Oswald Chambers in “My Utmost for His Highest” says for the devotional reading, May 22, “The things we are going through are either making us sweeter, better, nobler men and women, or they are making us more captious and fault-finding, more insistent upon our own way. The things that happen either make us fiends, or they make us saints; it depends entirely upon the relationship we are in to YHVH. When we understand what YHVH is after we will not get mean and cynical. Y’Shua has prayed nothing less for us than absolute oneness with Himself as He is one with the Father. YHVH will not leave us alone until we are one with Him, because Y’Shua has prayed that we may be.”
Deuteronomy 2 has interesting spiritual applications for those of us who find ourselves circling the mountain yet one more time. Verse 1 says the children of Israel were in the wilderness circling Mount Seir for many days. Mount Seir is the inheritance of Esau. Esau is Jacob’s twin brother who sold his inheritance for some food; he then went on to align himself with his relative Ishmael. Spiritually speaking Esau and Ishmael are the seed of the world that is in contention with the spiritual seed of Y’Shua.
After circling Mount Seir –
which means (Strong’s number H8165) rough, which is formed like Strong’s number 8163, from which comes (Strong’s number H8175) meaning – shaggy; as noun, a he goat; by analogy a faun: – devil, goat, hairy, kid, rough, satyr –
YHVH said, “You have circled this mountain long enough. Now turn north…
Mount Seir, the rough place, beset by devils, where the he-goats live. Our heavenly Abba allows circumstances to come upon us for the refining of our character. A lump of silver dug out of the earth is not worth near as much as that same lump of silver after it is refined of impurities. Malachi 3:3 says that YHVH sits as a refiner of silver; the refiner puts the silver into the smelter and watches the silver intently as the refining process draws out the dross. The silver must be removed at precisely the right moment or else it will ruin. So how does the refiner know when the silver is ready to be taken out of the smelter? The answer is: when the Refiner can see His face perfectly reflected in the silver. Going around the mountain is like the refining process, we’ll go around the mountain until the dross The Father is smelting out of us rises to the surface and is skimmed off.
When YHVH told the Israelites, “you have circled this mountain long enough, turn north,” He gave them instruction on how to pass through the lands of their adversaries; “do not provoke them,” He said, speaking of the descendants of Esau, “what I have given them is not yours, buy from them food and water, vs. 7, “For YHVH your Elohim has blessed you in all that you have done; He has known your wanderings through this great wilderness. These forty years YHVH your Elohim has been with you; you have not lacked a thing.”
When we are released from our “circling the mountain” we are told not to provoke the inhabitants of the land we are passing through and to buy our food and water. In the wilderness YHVH provided water from the rock and fed the people with manna. But now they are passing through inhabited lands and they are to pay for their food and water. YHVH said all the years of your wandering I have provided for you now you are to demonstrate My provision to the inhabitants of these lands by purchasing your food and water. “I want them to see that I have taken care of you through 38 years of wilderness wandering.”
When all “the generation of the men of war perish” vs. 13 says, “now arise and cross over…” by this time 38 years had elapsed and all the generation of the men of war perished from within the camp, as YHVH had sworn to them.”
For us today: The mountains are the tests and trials that work at refining our character, “the generation of the men of war” can we relate to as the angers, guilts, resentments, bitternesses, jealousies, rejections, hatreds, depressions, fears, rebellions, idolatries, sin in the camp, that are always trying to make war in our hearts and minds? When these take their last breath in us or as the scripture says “they perish” then the command comes to rise up and cross over.
The inhabitants of the land we are to buy food and water from are our opportunity to live in the fruit of the Ruach haKodesh of love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control manifesting as forgiveness, repentance, restitution, set-apartness, living the gospel of Y’Shua. Then truly will the world know we are His disciples by the love we have for one another.
Taking a closer look at the words arise and cross over we see that arise or rise up, (Strong’s number H6965) means abide, accomplish, be clearer, confirm, continue, decree, endure, enjoin, get up, make good, help, hold, lift up… And cross over (Strong’s number H5674) means to cover as in copulation.
Related to H5674 Strong’s number H225 is (in the sense of appearing); a signal (literally or figuratively), as a flag, beacon, monument, omen, prodigy, evidence, etc.: – mark, miracle, (en-) sign, token.
When we cross over I believe the words of Y’Shua in Matthew 10:6-8; apply, “I am sending you to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and as you go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons, freely you have received, freely give.” This is for the purpose of kingdom restoration; a land for a people and a people for a land.
YHVH is letting His people know that they are going to be seeing miracles. How was this going to happen, I believe we get a clue from Leviticus 26:3-9:
If you walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and you shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. And I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. And you shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.
The key is to keep, pursue, walk-in the statutes, commandments and ordinances of YHVH.
Reading on in Deuteronomy 2:18-19; “you shall cross over… and when you come opposite the sons of Ammon, do not harass them nor provoke them…” And then in vs. 24, “Arise, set out, and pass through the valley of Arnon. Look! I have given Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land into your hand; begin to take possession and contend with him in battle. This day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you upon the peoples everywhere under the heavens, who, when they hear the report of you, shall tremble and be in anguish because of you.”
Sihon – (Strong’s numbers H5511 and H5477) tempestuous, wipe away, sweeping
Amorite – (Strong’s numbers H567 and H 559) prominence, publicity, boast self, challenge
Heshbon – (Strong’s numbers 2809 and 2808 and 2803) contrivance and intelligence
The Amorite, Sihon, king of Heshbon is the tempestuous challenges and self-boasting of contrived intelligence that rises up to try and sweep us away from the task at hand which is to occupy and take possession. YHVH says to make war with this force, that you overcome it before it has the opportunity to overcome you. I am reminded of the words of Shaul in Ephesians 6:10-19;
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel …
YHVH is ready to take action against any that would seek to sweep away His set-apart ones from fulfilling His commission.
Even though we have crossed over we continue to obey the commands of YHVH for there are still giants in the land, (vs.20-23), however the word of YHVH comes as, vs. 31, “And YHVH said to me, “See, I have begun to deliver Sihon and his land over to you. Begin to occupy that you may possess his land.”
YHVH says, “I have begun to deliver.” When YHVH is ready to deliver we must also be ready to begin to occupy and possess. Y’Shua said in Luke 11:21-26; When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own homestead, his possessions are undisturbed; but when someone stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away from him all his armor on which he had relied, and distributes his plunder. He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters. When the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and not finding any, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. Then it goes and takes along seven spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.”
We occupy and possess by the indwelling presence of the Ruach haKodesh, the Spirit of YHVH that leads us into all truth which is Y’Shua who said I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through ME. And the truth shall set you free!