The Mount of Possession. Dear reader, we read in the 14th Chapter of the Book of Joshua, that when Caleb was four score and five years old he said to Joshua, “Give me this mountain for a possession forever,” and we read that Joshua blessed him and gave him the mountain for an everlasting possession.
One beautiful thing about it is that when he got in possession of this wonderful gift it was on his birthday, the day that he was 85 years old. Another thing that I want you to notice is the kind of gift that this man asked for. He surely had lofty desires; he asked for a mountain. That was the biggest thing in the world. He did not ask for a mole hill, and he did not ask for a beautiful plain; he wanted to get possession of the thing that could be seen from a distance.
A plain is beautiful, but you cannot see it if you are not down on it; and the little hills are beautiful, but you can’t see them very far; but when you look at that great old mountain lifting its head above all the country for hundreds of miles around, you are made to stand bewildered and you feel like taking off your hat and bowing down to that great mountain. I am not surprised when I hear of the poor heathen worshipping the great mountains of their nation. When I stood yonder at the foot of Pike’s Peak in the great old Rockies, a feeling of love and a feeling of admiration stole over me. As I stood and gazed at that mountain with his old head all covered with snow and the top of his head three miles above the level of the sea, I said, “Nobody but the God that I love and worship could make anything that looks like that.”
So we see the greatness of the man’s character when we see his choice. It is just so today. You see some men that make a choice and it is tobacco, and others make a choice and it is liquor, and others make a choice and it is hogs, and others make a choice and it is cows, and still others make a choice and it is horses, and others too numerous to mention, make all kinds of choices that go to make up the real character of the man. It has been said, “Show me the kind of a book a man reads and I will tell you what kind of a man he is.” It could be just as truly said, “Tell me what kind of a choice the man made and I will give you the man’s character.”
You can see the greatness of Caleb when you see his choice. He said, “Give me Mount Hebron,” and there the old hero sits on the side of that great old mountain with a sparkling, splashing spring bursting from the mountain side to sing Caleb to sleep at night. He said that he got that gift because he wholly followed the Lord. Now beloved, if a man can follow the Lord in such
a way as to get possession of a mountain don’t you think that it is worth his time and his energy to seek and strive for it? I get the lesson that we are to have a mountain-top experience.
If Caleb could get a mountain by wholly following the Lord, if you and I would wholly follow the Lord He would give us a mountain also. The Book says that there is no respect of persons with Him, and if that is so, and we know it is, we can have as much as Caleb. He got Mount Hebron, not to keep till the camp meeting was over, but for an everlasting possession.
There is something about the religion of Jesus Christ that is elevating and uplifting. You may see a man one week all dirty and ragged, and you may let that same man get a good case of old fashioned, heart-felt religion, the next week you will see the same man all cleaned up and washed and with clean clothes on. His clothes may be ragged, but he will wash them, and you will see a great change in the man. In only one week he will look like a brand new man, and if you did not know that he was the same fellow you would not believe your own eyes. I have seen men one week look like a beast, and the next week they would look like a man, and by the next week look like a gentleman, and by the next week would look like a saint. Well, what ailed him? Well, you can see that he has got rid of sin, and the reforming grace of God has come into that man’s heart and life, and he is a new creature and old things have passed away and behold all things have become new. You are not looking at the man that you saw last week. The old man that you saw last week is dead and his funeral has been preached and the last song has been sung over the last sin that he ever committed. He is a delivered man and is now ready to climb the mountain.
If it were preached to the young converts all over the country, and if all the people of God expected them to get the experience of sanctification, they would like to go to the mountain top at once and think nothing of it. But the devil on the outside and the preachers on the inside have made the people believe that they could not live a holy life, and they have settled down to the life of plains and swamps and mud holes and hollows and valleys.
Off yonder in the distance is the great old Mount Hebron, and old Caleb said to Joshua, “Give me this mountain.” Caleb had no thought of living down in the valley. Well, I don’t blame him at all, do you? If it was to do over again I would shout while Caleb climbed the mountain side. It is perfectly natural to hear the holiness people sing all over the United States, “I am dwelling on the mountain, Where the golden sunlight gleams,” and then you will hear them sing, “I can see far down the mountain, Where I wandered weary years, Often hindered in my journey By the ghost of doubts and fears.” Then notice again, “Broken vows and disappointments Thickly sprinkled all the way.” Now I don’t remember the author of that old hymn, but his theology is as true as the rising and the setting of the sun. Thank the Lord for the good example we have before us. Just listen: “Give me this mountain for an everlasting possession.” Now children, do we want the mountain-top experience? If so, let’s go and possess the Land.