Author: Ron Graham
Three Marvelous Mountains
—Ararat Sinai Zion
Various mountains are mentioned in the Bible. In this lesson we consider three of them: Mount Ararat, Mount Sinai, and Mount Zion.
Well, it's not so much the mountains that we consider, but the marvelous events that took place on or near them. We especially consider three things in each event: salvation, a sacrifice, and a promise.
1 Mount Ararat
SALVATION. The great flood destroyed all human beings and animals in the world, except those saved in the ark that Noah built. When the flood abated, the ark rested on Mount Ararat. Eventually the water had dried enough so that Noah, his family, and the animals, could come out of the ark (Genesis 8:1-4).
SACRIFICE. This was a new start for all life on earth. It was an opportunity to put away wickedness and live in God’s grace and love. Noah recognized this, and here is the first thing that Noah did: "Noah built an altar to the Lord... and offered burnt offerings on the altar" (Genesis 8:20).
PROMISE. God also made a promise to Noah that never again would he destroy the whole world with a flood. God gave the rainbow as a sign of this promise (Genesis 9:11-13).
2 Mount Sinai
SALVATION. The children of Israel (Jacob’s descendants) were slaves in Egypt for 400 years until Moses led them out of Egypt, across the Red Sea, and into the wilderness. God rescued his people from enslavement. They all camped at Mount Sinai (Exodus 31:18).
SACRIFICE. Moses climbed up the mountain to meet God and he received two tablets of stone. On these stones were written ten commandments. But down below, the people had made an idol as their god. It was a calf made of gold. They worshipped it with burnt offerings. They said this idol had saved them and brought them out of Egypt (Exodus 32:1-7).
PROMISE. Although God punished this evil, he still remembered and kept the promise he had made to their ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. There was a land across the Jordan River that God had promised to give their descendants. (Exodus 33:1)
3 Mount Zion
SALVATION. Zion is a mountain of Jerusalem. Sometimes in the Bible all Jerusalem and its surroundings are called Zion. It was from Jerusalem that the kingdom of Jesus Christ spread out to all the world offering salvation, forgiveness of sins, and everlasting life to all (Joel 2:32).
SACRIFICE. In Jerusalem Jesus, God’s Son, was sentenced to death and was crucified. He was buried in a tomb. He arose from the dead and showed himself alive (Acts 1:3). His death was a one-time offering for forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:27-28).
PROMISE. Later Jesus ascended into heaven. His disciples watched him go. An angel promised them that Jesus would come again just as they had seen him go (Acts 1:9-11). Mount Zion is a symbol of the city of God in heaven where all who are saved by Jesus will dwell forever (Hebrews 12:22-24).