Nestled high above the Hula Valley in the north of Israel, and rising as a majestic sentinel upon the northern ridge of the rugged Golan Heights, Mount Hermon is visible from many miles away with its 9,323 feet elevation, which is snowcapped for many months of the year.
Mentioned numerous times in the Scriptures, sometimes under different names given it by local tribes and ancient people groups, Mt. Hermon is hard to ignore both geographically and spiritually.
Technically a cluster of mountains with three distinct summits, each about the same height, the Hermon range covers an area of about 700 square kilometers of which only 70 square kilometers are under Israeli control, constituting the Hermon nature reserve with Israel’s one and only ski resort.
Psalm 42 echoes the cry of an exile longing to be back in the courts of the Lord. “Oh, my God, my soul is cast down within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, and from the heights of Hermon, from the Hill Mizar. Deep calls unto deep at the voice of your waterfalls, all your waves and billows have gone over me. The Lord will command his loving kindness in the daytime; and in the night his song shall be with me; a prayer to the God of my life.”
Exiled far from the holy city and from the Temple of his God, the pilgrim uses Mt. Hermon’s solitary stand on the northeastern corner of the kingdom of Israel as an indication of the great distance between him and God.
And more than that, because of its height, the Hermon captures a great deal of precipitation in a very dry area of the world as it stops the moisture laden clouds rolling in from the Mediterranean, and forces them to rain upon the rocky slopes. With seasonal winter and spring snow falls covering all three of its peaks for most of the year, melted water seeps into the rock channels, feeding springs at the base of the mountain, which in turn form streams and rivers that merge to become the Jordan River.
The Psalmist, in Psalm 133, expressed this marvel this way: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion – for there the Lord commanded the blessing, life forever.’’
Why not include Mt. Hermon in your upcoming visit to Israel and see the majestic heights for yourself? The place where the Lord gave blessing…