What are you, O mighty mountain?
(Alexander Smellie, "The Secret Place" 1907)
"What are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground!" Zechariah 4:7
What difficulties the divine Builder encounters! He has to shape me, and depraved men like me, into His spiritual Temple. I am far from God — and He must bring me near. "The soul that sins, it shall surely die!" the Judge has said; and He has to alter that which has gone forth from the Judge's lips, and to do it without impeaching His faithfulness or wounding His glory. Does it not seem to be a huge, impassable mountain?
Moreover, He has to fit me, and ten thousand wayward souls, for adorning His Temple. It gleams with the light of precious stones — diamonds and sapphires and emeralds! But I am all defiled, loving sin and cleaving to it as if it were my life! He must prevail over the depraved bias of my nature, and the power of my sinful passions. Alps piled on Alps would be easier to uproot!
And then, He has to finish His Temple of regenerated men among the most unfriendly conditions. He does not carry forward the enterprise in a quiet Heaven, where angels rejoice in it and hasten to help Him. It is amid the sinful confusions of earth, that He toils and perseveres. Where the force of the enemy is strongest, where his deceit permeates the very air — Christ works with a love that never tires, as well as an arm that never droops.
He will humble these towering mountains to the dust! And with what ease and completeness the divine Builder will surmount His difficulties!
We see here His power and wisdom, and of the insignificance in His sight of every hindrance that is opposed to Him. Nothing will turn Him aside in His triumphant work. It is not that He halts in perplexity before the great mountain. It is not that He climbs the steep ascent slowly and painfully. Nay, to Him all mountains of difficulty are a level plain. Without an effort, with composure, as though the world aided instead of resisted Him, as though the malignant principalities of evil were nonexistent — He begins and continues and ends His sovereign undertaking!
Let me rejoice that One Who is mighty to save has espoused my depraved, shameful and hopeless cause!