The Eternal Hills

June 30, 2012

The Eternal Hills

     “The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren”  (Genesis 49:26).

When the patriarch, Jacob, was on his death bed he prayed for God’s blessing on each of his sons.  When he prayed for Joseph he asked that the blessing of the omnipotent God “be unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills.” It is inspiring to think of the many ways in which God’s blessings come to us.  Lamentations 3:22-23 says that the mercies of God are new every morning. “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.   They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. “  Hebrews 13:8 says “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”

It’s also inspiring to think of the eternal hills.  Perhaps those who live in the city or on the plains don’t give much thought to the eternal hills.  I grew up in the sand hills ofNebraskaand they still have a special significance for me.  Some of my first memories are of the little two room house where we lived until I was about five years old.  My grandparent’s house was only about a block away, but to get there we had to climb a step hill.  Our little house lacked a lot of being modern.  We had an outdoor toilet instead of a bathroom.  There was no running water.  All the water we used was carried from a windmill that stood beside my grandparents house.  When I was five years old my parents rented a farm about five miles away and moved there.  That’s where I spent my childhood and youth.

Many years later my wife and our children were visiting my mother on what we called “the old home place.” I expressed a desire to go back and see the place where I spent my first four years.  My mother called the owner and got his permission for us to go there.  Many years before that, the owner had taken down the house and all the out buildings.  Nothing was left to indicate that a farmstead had been there.  We stood on the hill where the house once stood.  The only thing that remained unchanged was the hills.  They had been there for centuries before the first settlers build a farmstead there.  That’s why they are called “the eternal hills.”

The mountains are never called eternal.  In spite of their magnitude, they are not as permanent as the hills.  Mountain peaks suffer from the effects of erosion.  Changes in the temperature cause the rocks to crack and split.  Sometimes a massive piece of rock breaks lose and crashes down the mountain with a loud roar and a cloud of dust.  Little by little the wind sweeps the soil off the tops of the mountains and spreads it over the surface below.  More is carried down when the snow melts.

The hills are protected by a carpet of grass and trees.  The only exception is when they are cultivated and the farmers don’t take the necessary precautions to prevent erosion.

There is something we can learn from the eternal hills.  I Corinthians 15:58 says we should be steadfast.  “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”  We should be steadfast in spiritual growth.  There is always more to learn.  We should also be steadfast in well doing.  Galatians 6:9-10 says “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.   As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”

Taking heed to what the eternal hills can teach us will guard us from the danger mentioned in James 1:8 “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”  James 1:6 says the unstable man is “like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” We can depend on the hills to stay in their place.  Can the Lord, and others, depend on you?

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