The summit of Mount Hermon straddles the border between Syria and Lebanon. During the spring all three of its peaks are covered in fresh snow which lasts for most of the year. Melt water from the snow-covered mountains feed streams and rivers some of which eventually become the Jordan River.
The River Jordan is, of course, both of material and mystical significance in the Bible. Crossing the Jordan River for Joshua meant entering the Promised Land and leaving behind the leadership of Moses. It was at the Jordan that Elijah transferred the prophetic mantle to Elisha just before Elijah ascended to heaven. John the Baptist chose the Jordan River in which to baptise his disciples as they left behind their old lives and entered Kingdom territory. And these are but a few examples. The Jordan then, it appears, is a perpetual symbol of transition.
Some of us I know are standing at the Jordan today – in a place of transition. But transition to what and where is the question many are asking. And as we stand at the Jordan – looking at the waters, uncertain of the future, can the source of these waters be of any comfort, direction or significance?
I believe they can. If the Jordan River speaks of transition – Mount Hermon – the source of the river, takes our mind to high places in the realm of The Spirit. First of all from Hermon comes a reminder of the love and faithfulness of God – which are essential before we cross the river. In all probability The Transfiguration occurred somewhere on Mount Hermon. In that event, which took place as Jesus stood on the banks of his spiritual Jordan – facing the cross, suffering and death – he is embraced in a cloud of the Fathers love and once again reminded of his true identity –
“And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!””
I personally believe this incident may well have a parallel in the Song of Songs where we read –
“You are all beautiful, my love. You are perfect. Come with me from Lebanon, my bride. May you come with me from Lebanon. Travel down from the top of Amana, from the top of Senir and Hermon, from the homes of lions, from the mountain homes of leopards.
Song of Solomon 4:7 – 8 [The Voice]
Hermon then reminds that we, as well as Jesus, are embraced by The Father and enveloped in His love. It also reminds us that, however we may feel about ourselves, we are and beautiful in the eyes of God! This is probably one of the hardest thing to believe and appreciate. But we must if we are to move forward.
Hermon also reminds us of the unity we find in God and with the true people of God –
“Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion. And there the Lord has pronounced his blessing, even life everlasting.”
Dew in the Bible is also a picture of renewal and refreshing –
“I will be like the dew to Israel;
He shall grow like the lily,
And lengthen his roots like Lebanon.
His branches shall spread;
His beauty shall be like an olive tree,
And his fragrance like Lebanon.”
Hosea 14: 5&6
It is interesting to note that both Hosea and the writer in the Song of Songs refer to Lebanon as a spiritual symbol. And Lebanon is linked with Hermon because “Lebanon” means “the white one” – a reference to Mount Hermon.
Taking these pictures together then and as we stand today on the river bank of uncertainty – transitioning from one season to another – one calling to another – or whatever transition may mean for us personally we need to lift our eyes towards our spiritual Hermon! For it is as we look to The Source that we are assured, whatever our future may hold, that we are forever loved by The Father – precious and beautiful in his estimation. And he also promises to be The Dew – our constant source of refreshing in every season – even as we stand and wait to enter the waters of our Jordan!