Rise Up, My Love (104): Three Steps to the Top

IMG_5674 copySong of Solomon 4:8 “Look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon…” From the top of which mountains are we to obtain our view? What do these mountains represent? What monolithic ideas will form the massive base upon which we gain Christ’s heavenly perspective?

According to Watchman Nee (who was a spiritual giant of the faith during this past century), Amana means “confirmation” or “truth” and comes from a word related to “amen.” Amana is the modern Jebel Zebedoni and is the source of the Amana River, which has always been noted for its beautifully clear waters (2 Kings 5:12). The first mountain is the sure word of truth, fountainhead of the crystal, pure waters of life. It is the confirmed faith of one who believes completely in the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ: the one who declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). It is a simple truth, but it is a mountain, and until one has grasped by faith that monolithic idea and has climbed up to rest securely at the summit, he will not find the source of pure, fresh, living water. At the top of Amana is the “Fountain of Life,” for Jesus has promised, “the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14).

Watchman Nee further states that Shenir means “flexible armor” (although this could not be verified by any other source; most say the meaning is unknown). It is known that Shenir was the Amorite name for Mt. Hermon (which is actually a cluster of mountains with three almost equally high peaks) and was perhaps used to distinguish one of the shorter peaks. If the word Shenir is indeed the ancient Amorite word for “flexible armor,” what is the significance?

Perhaps it stands for the equipping of the saint. Once a believer has learned to trust fully in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ as their only means of salvation and way to God, then it is time for that person to become equipped for battle! “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore, take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having down all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:12-13). The second mountain to climb is that of spiritual preparedness, and the path to the top is carefully charted in Ephesians 6:11-18. It would be good for all of us who are serious about following our Lord to commit this passage to memory and make a daily practice of putting on God’s armor. If you’ve never memorized these verses, would you consider writing them out and taping them to your bathroom mirror until you have them memorized?

But, back to our verse. If the first mountain is faith, and the second mountain signifies preparation for battle, what might the third mountain represent? The third mountain, Mt. Hermon, is the highest mountain peak of all. At 9,200’, it is snow capped much of the year and has been nicknamed, “mountain of the snow,” or “grey-haired mountain.” Its melting snows provide the principle source for the Jordan River, and although no trees grow above the snow line, its lower sides are fertile and filled with vineyards and forests where “leopards, wolves, and sometimes Syrian bears” roam. “Hermon” means “a consecrated place” or “a sanctuary” (according to Tenny in Zondervan’s Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, Vol. 3:125,26).

How perfect is every word of the Lord! First faith, then preparation, and finally: consecration. To climb to the top of a snow-capped mountain is a skill developed by very few. No one would survive without proper equipment—and after much practice at lower elevations in less rigorous circumstances! To scale Mt. Hermon would be a challenge for only the bravest of the brave and the strongest of the strong. Could Solomon’s spouse possibly have been up to such a task?

Perhaps in the summer, after the snows were gone (and that would be consistent with the text), such a climb would be possible. However, it would have been an amazing feat, and perhaps it was only meant figuratively. However it was meant, the king’s wife apparently satisfied his expectations, because Solomon declares in the next verse: “Thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes.” Only a woman whose heart burned with passion would attempt and succeed at such a climb—literal or figurative—and her love and devotion earned her the respect and awe of her so-greatly-honored husband!