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Thursday: Immovable Like Mount Zion — 8 Comments

  1. In central Australia is a large rock that for centuries was called Uluru by the local people. Then along came the European explorers who decided to name it Ayres Rock after a South Australian government functionary. Then a few years ago the rock was handed back to the local people who decided that it should be called Uluru one again. The rock is probably one of the most well-known tourist sites in Australia. You cannot climb to the top of it any more. There are two reasons for that. There are no toilets on the top of it (I don't think I need to explain that one) and some 30 people have fallen to their death.

    It is a huge rock. It is some 9km around the base - I know because I have walked around it. It is on a flat plain, so is visible for miles. I have photographed it from Kata Tjuta, some 40km to the west.

    There are a couple of interesting facts about Uluru that are pertinent to this lesson.

    Uluru looks quite different depending on which side you look at it. From the west it looks like an overturned bathtub and from the east, it is more like a flattened pyramid, but it is still the same solid rock. Secondly, it changes colour as the sun sets. This is spectacular. I have been there and seen the change from dull grey to glowing red fading into deep crimson. It is so stunning, that hundreds of tourists turn up to watch it most evenings.

    God has been likened to a rock and I am sure that if the psalmists had experienced Uluru they would have used it as a metaphor. God is immoveable but God takes on different appearances depending on our perspective. We need to remember that not all of us see God from the same view. Just as I had to walk around Uluru to see what it looked from the other side, so we too should take the time to see God as others see him. It is not that our perspective is wrong, but it is limited.

    Secondly, we need to take time to watch God as the light changes. In a spiritual sense we are sometimes so intensely "religion focused" that we fail to see that God is putting on a show for us to enjoy.

    Finally, as a special treat I am including a link to a slideshow of our visit to Red Centre where Uluru is situated. The slide show shows some of the other features of the area but I am sure you will work out the photos that are of Uluru:

    A Visit to the Red Centre

    • Yes indeed the slideshow was indeed a magnificent treat. In true teacher style you brought alive and vividly illustrated what you painted in our minds with words.

    • Praise God for your input on each weekly lesson. It broadens my learning as I study each lesson.
      I have climbed Ayer’s Rock and been to that beautiful land, great insight to the aboriginal’s sacred rock (tourists asked not to climb).
      Your video amazingly captures the beauty of the Rock.

  2. Jeremiah in his tears and discouraging times said, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart” (Jeremiah 15:16). When we pray for peace but it still seems far off, God’s unchanging Word holds and strengthens us so we can take comfort that “the grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God will stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8).

    Ps.125:3 promises that peace will come...God's Word is fresh air and clear water bubbling up in a dry land. "New Creation" Light from His Word spills out onto our "Old Creation" landscapes in which we're still living - which even though God has preserved beauty and gifts of life, we know that a lot is bleak and sad on planet Earth. The fresh air from His Word is air from there (heaven) that helps us to be immovable here (in tumult and chaos). The reality of what happened to Jesus on Mt. Zion for us is something that we can gaze at by faith and let our minds hold onto, our hearts cling to, like tree roots wrapped around a rock. We are so loved and wanted by God, and nothing will ever change that reality (Rom.8:34-39).

  3. Mountains exist because of the Flood. Nobody would look for higher places to feel safe unless the bottom represented a possibility of being suffocated (by problems, for example). We often see ourselves in lower levels, looking to a higher place for a better view (of our condition) and breathing. God represents this safer ground, so He is compared to a mount. Let Him be your safe ground. "In God we (should) trust."

  4. I am offering to ask yourselves to consider Mount Zion and Jerusalem as a metaphor for the 'Presence of God'. Doing so, then “those who trust in the LORD” refers to those who are in God’s Presence – Psalm 125:1-2. God’s Presence surrounds His people, and ‘His Presence will be with them forever.’

    Over time, my perspective about God and the believer’s relationship with Him has changed. Becoming more and more secure in my relationship with my heavenly Father - ‘learning about all the blessings’ I have and will continue to receive' -, has become of lesser importance. My focus has shifted to understanding what God’s immovable presence in my life means; how I experience it.

    One overarching aspect of this introspection is my increasing gratefulness for being aware that it is because of 'Who He is' - my heavenly Father. It is through His Goodness that I am in His presence. Other god's presence have shaped much of my earlier years in life. Now I know the difference between them and Him; now, I relish in HIS protective Presence.

    The better I understand God’s Goodness which He teaches me to live by, the more I appreciate the value of His goodness. The Christian's God, our God, having revealed Himself to us, “does good [expresses His goodness] to those who ‘seek after good’ and to those who are upright in their hearts” - Psalm 125:4.

    I so much appreciate Ellen White’s comment chosen for today’s lesson. It speaks volumes about the mystery of God’s Presence in Mount Zion, Jerusalem, and the believer’s life.
    I now think of God’s providence as the evidence of His Presence in my life. By faith do we accept that His Presence is a lifesaving influence in our life; the scope of which is beyond our comprehension – Malachi 3:2-3; Prov. 17:3.

  5. I actually got a different message from Psalm 125 than what the lesson quarterly stated. My version (NIV) said that the wicked would not remain "for then the righteous might use their hands to do evil." (vs. 3) This said to me that God will take away the wicked so that the righteous will not fall into evil. To me, it's a promise more so than a warning. Just to be sure I checked some other fairly literal Bibles (ESV, NASB, NRSV) and they all said the same thing. I don't mean that we can't fall away and follow wicked ways, but if we are truly "righteous", God will protect us from them, much as I Corinthians 10:13 promises we won't be tempted beyond what we can bear. We should be vigilant, but neither should we be terrified of our free will and falling away. We've used our free will to choose God and He will honor that choice and protect us when we are in these situations of temptation.


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