A few days ago I blogged about the God of the Box. Scripture doesn’t reveal God as “the God of the Box.” Scripture reveals God as the God of the Mountain.
Habakkuk is a character from Scripture who approaches God with all kinds of questions. He writes his book in response to intense suffering that he saw coming upon his people in Judah. Wicked nations were set up for triumph while God’s people were seemingly being hung out to dry. As Habakkuk approached God with questions upon questions, he was trying to make sense of God. The God he thought he knew was all-powerful, completely good, completely just, unfathomably merciful, and totally sovereign. But it seemed like this God had lost control, or simply stopped caring. What Habakkuk found was that God is not “The God of the Box,” one we can simply shrink down to fit in our pocket. God revealed Himself to Habakkuk as “The God of the Mountain.”
God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. His splendor covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. Selah
The mountain regions of Seir, Sinai, and Paran are adjacent to one another, and are thereby associated together, in respect to God’s giving of the law (De 33:2). The “God of the Mountain” is the God whose revelation came to Israel from these regions.
He’s the God who said:
“I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.
“The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation [of those who hate me].”
The God of the Mountain is the covenant God.
He is the sovereign God.
He is the God who reveals Himself through His Word.
His character does not change.
He is not the God we “try out;” He’s the God who rescues us by His grace.
He’s not the God who gives easy answers; He’s the God who is THE ANSWER.
He’s not tame, safe, or “easy to digest”…. but He’s good.
Habakkuk experienced revelation from the God of the Mountain and his response was “Selah.”
The word Selah is a word we see used often in the Psalms. It comes from a root meaning to “rest” or “pause.” When used in the Psalms or in this specific place in Habakkuk (music and poetry) it implies a cessation of the chant, during an instrumental interlude. The solemn pause here prepares the mind for contemplating the glorious description of God’s manifestation which follows.
God reveals Himself to Habakkuk as the God of the Mountain, and Habakkuk’s response is to pause, rest, and wait. As we do the same, God will not shrink to fit in our pocket, but we will shrink to fit in His hands.