Two MountainsBro. David Chancellor
7/27/2008 6:00 PM
For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
This scripture refers to two mountains – Mt. Sinai and Mt. Zion. It compares and contrasts the old and the new, the law and the gospel. The people at Mt. Sinai couldn’t handle the message. It was a message of death. It brought the knowledge that we were wicked and sinful. Jesus came and brought a message of life. He came, not to condemn, but to save. The difference in the message is one of deliverance, and of life. The message of Christ reaches out to mankind. He brought us a message that is greater and different. He came to bring rest. He came to bring something better. He came to bring deliverance from the power of sin.
The glory years of Israel were when Zion was established. They looked forward to the one that would sit on David’s throne.
For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice thou barren that bearest not: break forth and cry thou that travailest not: for the desolate hat many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
Paul wrote this to the Galatians to counter the teaching of some who were requiring obedience to the Mosaic law. He uses the allegory to talk about the two laws. Hagar was tied to Mt. Sinai, and Jerusalem and the old law. It never set anyone free. Our righteousness isn’t sufficient to free us from sin. The heavenly Jerusalem is what Jesus came to bring. The literal Jerusalem is home to many people still in bondage. The city and the old law don’t make you free. They aren’t the answer for the soul. We can come together and enjoy each other’s presence, and the presence of God. We can be children of Abraham, the spiritual Israel. There are still those who would bring back the old laws and would persecute those who would hold to Christ. The ones who do this are missing the freedom that is in Christ. We can be children of the free and of promise.
Then spake Jesus to the multitude and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes, and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
Jesus described things as he saw them when he walked among the people. The scribes and Pharisees were good at holding things on people that they weren’t willing to do themselves. They had a lot of traditions that they held to. This was why they had such a big issue with Jesus. Jesus did God’s work on God’s day. They would bind burdens they didn’t want to bear on other people. Jesus recognized the condition of man’s heart and he came to set men free.
But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
We’re given grace from God. Jesus bound bondage. He led captivity captive. He came to set us free. He came to let us live the life God intended man to live. He came to fix what was broken. We can have the relationship with God that he wants us to have. Jesus came to show us the Father and to lead us to him. We don’t have to be afraid of God, but we can walk with him and enjoy his presence.
When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them. The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad. Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as the streams of the south. They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
When Jesus brought us out of captivity, we could look ahead and dream great things. These were energized and enthused. On the day of Pentecost, they found something that blessed their soul. They got a picture of what Christ brought. God has done great things for us. We can rejoice in what God has done. People should be able to see what God has done for us. We want them to want to walk with God, too.
We want people to look on and say, "God has done great things for them, and he can do it for me, too." We want other people to get saved and enjoy God’s blessings, too. We need to see God’s blessing on our lives. The world needs to hear that Jesus came to set them free.
"They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." We can look at those around us and feel sorry for the condition they’re in. People are hurting and suffering. The answer they need is for Jesus to set them free. We want to care and share the gospel when and where we can. We want them to share in the reality that Jesus brought to us. We want to lift him up.