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During times of warfare, it is common to take and maintain the strategic and significant places of higher altitude. Throughout history, high and prominent vantage points have often also been used for worship. The heathen used these conspicuous places for idolatrous rites and the erecting of pagan temples or objects (Deut 12:2-4).
Does Jesus have the ‘high place’ in my life?
The Israelites failed to obey the directive to destroy all the detestable objects of false religions including those situated on the high places, and ultimately became involved in such practices themselves (Num 33:52; 1 Kgs 14:22-24; 2 Kgs 17:9,10). Some of the godly kings destroyed these objects of false religion but when another king took the throne, the nation would often revert to the evil practices (2 Kgs 18:4, 21:3). The sin we allow to reside in our lives, will ensnare us too; this is why we are to deal decisively and drastically with sin as what initially seems non-threatening becomes a dominant controlling force, compelling us to act wrongfully.
Noah and Abraham are two OT saints who worshipped God on high places (Gen 8:4,20, 22:2,14).
There have been significant encounters between God and man on the mountain tops at various times too (Ex 19:20; Mt 17:1-9, 28:16-20). The longest teaching of Jesus was the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:1-7:27).
We also struggle against opposing spiritual forces of evil in high or heavenly places (Eph 6:12).
See also: mountains.