GOD AND MT. MORIAH
Genesis 22:2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
2 Chronicles 3:1 ¶ Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.
These are the only two verses in our Bibles in which the name, “Moriah” is mentioned. It is a word which comes from two Hebrew words meaning, “Seen of Jehovah.” And we learn from a prayerful meditation and study that God’s focus was truly upon this mount. For these two verses involve two of the Lord God’s highly favored men, Abraham and David. But they are actually in order to reveal to us the One whom the scriptures are all about! – The Lord Jesus Christ! And to know him is to have eternal life. John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Let us begin by considering two verses which, on the surface seem to contradict one another concerning this matter of Moriah. 2 Samuel 24:1 And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah. 1 Chronicles 21:1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. The Samuel verse clearly states that it was God who moved David to number Israel. But the Chronicles verse states that it was Satan who provoked David to do so. So, which one is it?
It is both! For God cannot tempt any man. James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But he certainly has a powerful servant who can, and does constantly tempt to sin. Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
Consider this passage: 1 Kings 22:20 And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. 21 And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him. 22 And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so. 23 Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.
In the Lord God’s infinite wisdom, being angered against Israel, he knew of David’s usage, not only to punish them, but also to move the temporary tabernacle worship into a permanent and established worship to the place of His own choosing. 1 Chronicles 21:29 For the tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burnt offering, were at that season in the high place at Gibeon. 30 But David could not go before it to enquire of God: for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of the LORD.
Yet it was in the eternal purposes of God to call his name from the earthly city of Jerusalem in order to reveal his “heavenly Jerusalem,” which is the true church! 2 Chronicles 6:5 Since the day that I brought forth my people out of the land of Egypt I chose no city among all the tribes of Israel to build an house in, that my name might be there; neither chose I any man to be a ruler over my people Israel: 6 But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel.
Hebrews 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
And in order to make this change, it required David’s free choice of the proper chastisement for this to take place. For since the Lord would change the place of worship and the enclosure in which this worship was to be made, it required a plague. And therefore David, of his own free volition chose not three years of famine, nor three months of being destroyed before his enemies, but three days of pestilence from the Lord. 1 Chronicles 21:12 Either three years’ famine; or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee; or else three days the sword of the LORD, even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel. Now therefore advise thyself what word I shall bring again to him that sent me. 13 And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the LORD; for very great are his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man.
For this pestilence, once it had fulfilled the Lord’s purposes of purging out 70,000 men of Israel, who were, without doubt, those whose sin had angered the Lord, was stopped at the exact spot of Ornan’s threshing floor upon which God’s focus was directed for the threshing of soul’s by His Eternal Son! Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
And Ornan, also called Araunah, was a king. 2 Samuel 24:23 All these things did Araunah, as a king, give unto the king. And Jerusalem is called the city of the great king, referring to Christ! Psalm 48:2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
David paid the full price for the threshing floor! 1 Chronicles 21:24 And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost.
And the Lord Christ, as the Lamb of God paid the full price for our sin! Hebrews 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; Isaiah 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
The Lord God was therefore very closely observing the destroying angel’s devastation, stopping him just as he reached the threshing floor. So he was also closely attending to the travail of the Lamb of God. And the words, “It is finished,” as recorded in John 19:30, were not uttered until the Father was completely “satisfied!” Isaiah 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
Also the custom was that a threshing floor be just outside the city limits. And so it was with our Lord Jesus in his death. John 19:20 This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. Hebrews 13:11 For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. 12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. 13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. 14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
David referred to the peoples of Israel as “these sheep.” 1 Chronicles 21:17 And David said unto God, Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but as for these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, O LORD my God, be on me, and on my father’s house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued.
And so did our Lord Jesus Christ. John 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: Psalms 100:3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Now let us see the other place where Mount Moriah is mentioned in the Scriptures. We listed it at the beginning of this article. It is found in Genesis 22:2. And whereas in our 1 Chronicles account the punishment and purging of sin is dealt with, in this Genesis account the supreme fear and love for God is brought to bear upon us. Genesis 22:11 And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. 12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.
And even in his earthly ministry did our Lord refer to this event. John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. For Abraham, in this powerful experiential revelation saw the resurrection of Messiah! For he did tell the young men who travelled with him, we will come again to you! Genesis 22:5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. And since he fully intended to slay Isaac, he had to believe that God would resurrect him, since he promised thus to these young men.
But let us go now to the scene of the third and last encounter with Mount Moriah. It is not mentioned by name again. It is now referred to as Golgotha. John 19:16 Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. 17 And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: 18 Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.
But wait! The Lord God has commanded Abraham to put up his knife and do no harm to Isaac! And He has commanded the mighty angel, “It is enough, stay now thing hand.” Shall he not respond in the same manner to His own Son, who cries out to Him, as his sweat becomes as great drops of blood, “Father if it be thy will, let this cup pass from me?” Surely this is of far greater weight to the heart of the Father than was Abraham or David! But no! Heaven is silent.
And this is the cause of the Lamb voluntarily laying down his life! John 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. 17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
His heart was broken as he cried, “Psalm 22:1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? 2 O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. 3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. 4 Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. 5 They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded. 6 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.”
No other such aloneness in death! No other such abandonment of all loving relations! No other such horrible misjudging of one so holy! Isaiah 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: He actually caused the sword to be raised against the Son! Zechariah 13:7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son… Rom. 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all,…
Thank you, Lord Jesus!
Pastor Gene Breed
September 9, 2021