H ope drives us—in every detail of our lives. Like hikers who hope to summit ascend energetically despite all the difficulties, we need to keep our eyes on that for which we hope, especially when we feel lost. In the lyrical words of the prophet Isaiah, we see the dream that God has—we see his “hope”—for all creation summed up in the image of an amazing “holy mountain.” In this short six-part series we explore some hope-inspiring aspects of God’s dream for us and how sharing His dream changes things for the better. His dream keeps us climbing.

 

Nov. 28, 2016 Part one: Walking in His paths.

It is becoming more popular these days for companies to have “vision statements”—summary statements of their overall purpose. The prophet Isaiah could be said to offer a kind of vision statement on God’s behalf:

In days to come, the mountain of the Lord’s house shall established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills.”

God’s dream, his vision, his hope is that His House, the temple in Jerusalem, will be the “highest mountain”: the most visible, beautiful…the most attractive.

Why is a high mountain the vision? Why does God want his house to be on the highest mountain? We may be tempted to think that God is greedy or self-serving. Perhaps he wants the best real estate to emphasize his dominance over us. But God needs nothing from creation whatsoever. So the raising of the house of the Lord is precisely for the good of the whole world. Isaiah specifies this:

“All nations shall stream toward it, many peoples will come…”

God’s dream is bigger than we can imagine. He desires to draw all nations to himself. He wants the whole world to come like pilgrims to his holy dwelling, to cry out:

“Let us climb the mountain of the Lord!”

His dream is for us is to move, to overcome isolation; he desires to move us toward a share in his life on the mountain.  What’s the result of this? Transformation. We become like God. Isaiah says,

“That he may instruct us in his ways and we may walk in his paths.”

God’s desires to draw us to his holy mountain in order to transform us to walk “in his paths.” He wants us to absorb his “style,” if we can put it like that. We will spend the rest of this series looking at what it means to “walk in his paths,” to keep climbing, using Isaiah’s vision statement as our guide.

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