“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord.” Isaiah 2:3 (NIV)
Years ago people were hearing a lot about the threat of nuclear war. Companies were formed with the express idea of marketing bomb shelters. For a price the company would come to your property and build an underground structure on your property that was guaranteed to withstand an atomic bomb exploding nearby. People were to stock the shelter with non-perishable food and water.
Now we look back and smile at the mass hysteria that took over the minds of many people. Perhaps a few of those bomb shelters still exist. I do not know. But the fact is that there are no more being built as we feel relatively safe from harm.
People who are suffering often find themselves looking around to find shelter from the blast of their problems. The old expression “Any port in a storm” is often quoted when someone seeks to hide from life. Those who suffer from clinical depression usually find it hard to get out of bed in the morning and feel like pulling the covers over their head and hoping the world and their issues will go away.
Sadly, people who seek to hide from life and the pain of living, cannot get away from it all and the unresolved difficulties remain to haunt them when they finally get up. This does not need to be the case with a child of God. We know a hiding place that is safe and full of comfort. It is indeed the best place in the world.
In Proverbs 18:10 we read, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” (NIV) By “name” the writer meant the whole personality and power of the one whose name was uttered. So the “name of the Lord” meant the power, wisdom, love, compassion, grace, and all the other attributes of God.
The writer of our verse knows there is shelter in the mountain of God. He goes on to say later in the same verse that if they go up to the mountain of God that God will instruct them. Then they will be able to walk in the way of God which is the way of blessing and help.
Those who believe in Jesus find His name a great comfort and encouragement to utter or sing in worship. The author of the popular hymn “Amazing Grace” penned the following.
How sweet the name of Jesus sounds in a believer’s ear!
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds, and drives away his fear.
Dear name the rock on which I build, my shield and hiding place,
My never failing treasury filled with boundless stores of grace.
It is so important to gather with God’s people and sing praise to Jesus and have the Bible opened and explained to us. This is how we today can “go up to the mountain of God”. We go to the place where the name of God our Saviour is loved and in the midst of God’s chosen people we worship and remember who this God is who travels through life with us.
Are your troubles today causing you to stay away from church? Are you missing the blessing that can only come when God’s people gather? Jesus promised His people that where two or three gather in His name He is in their midst. Even such an insignificant number of people who come together to experience the power and personality of Jesus will have Him with them. In Matthew 1:23 it was prophesied that Jesus would have the name Emmanuel given to Him. The name Emmanuel means “God with us”. So Jesus was clearly God not only while on earth when people recognized Him as God with us, but even now in our day.
How precious the name of Jesus should be to all of us. He is everything that people could say of Him and infinitely more. But only those who go to the best place in the world will receive the encouragement, strength, peace and instruction they need to overcome their difficulties.
May you find a place of worship this week where Jesus is loved and exalted as Lord and Saviour. Go and be blessed. Come away encouraged and equipped to meet all of the challenges that face you.