Ye have compassed this mountain long enough: turn you northward (Deuteronomy 2:3, KJV)
When Israel came out of Egypt and did not believe God in the wilderness, a journey that was meant to take a few days took 40 years. They spent many years going round and round the same mountain until the time came for them to move forward into the promised land. The Lord told them, “you have compassed this mountain long enough: turn you northward.” Let us review how this applies to us today.
When they compassed the mountain, they were moving but not making any progress. They were going round and round in circles, working hard, moving through the desert and looking very busy but there were no results to show. A mountain symbolically, in this case, represents a challenge or problem in life. When Jesus told us to speak to the mountain in Mark 11:23, the real message is to address the challenges we face.
Is there a challenge you are facing, and it seems you are doing nothing other than going round and round in a circle? Maybe a health challenge, relationship crisis, financial problems, ministry issues or even personal mountains. We can get trapped by the routines of life, doing the same things over and over again, and even employing a good amount of resources and our time and yet not making any progress.
The Lord had good news for Israel. He told them they had compassed the mountain for too long and it was time to move forward. I met a Christian who has had a desire to walk closer with the Lord and it is now more than 10 years! That is compassing the mountain of spiritual emptiness again and again for the past 10 years. The man at the pool of Bethesda was dealing with his problem for 38 years, going round and round the same mountain until one faithful day that he encountered Jesus. There comes a time in our lives when a problem has caused us so much pain that we cannot take it anymore and are open and ready to walk with God to break the cycle. The prodigal son suffered until he could not take the suffering anymore. He decided to come home and broke the cycle of moving in circles eating with pigs. The woman with the issue of blood compassed the mountain of suffering from her bleeding for 12 years until she had enough and was ready to get out.
The mountains that challenge us and the reasons why we compass the mountain are different. The good news is that with God, we always have an opportunity to break the cycle. He is also telling us today that we have compassed our mountains for too long, and it is time to move forward. For some of us, moving forward will mean coming back home to the Father, like the prodigal son. For others, it might mean stepping out in faith like the woman with the bleeding problem. For some, it might mean re-igniting our prayer life. Our mountains are all different. The key is to be open-hearted with God, honest with the problem, and ready to obey Him to take that step to break that compassing mountain circle.
I want you to think about one mountain you have compassed before or currently still compassing now? What is that mountain, why are you still compassing it and what do you have to do to break that circle?
APPLY THE WORD
There is good news for all of us. God is saying we have the blessing now to break that mountain-compassing circle. Cooperate with God. Whatever we tolerate and accept in our lives will remain until we have had enough and willing to break it off. Do not make any mountain comfortable in your life. Mount a spiritual response, whether it is through obedience, faith, prayer, or another specific action.
Thank the Lord for allowing you to stop the cycle of moving around mountains for long periods of time.