Joseph A. Bias
Ride Upon The High Places of The Earth
“Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD and I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the LORD has spoken.” Isaiah 58:14
My Mom had a favorite hymn that she played on the piano, called Higher Ground.
1 I’m pressing on the upward way, New heights I’m gaining ev'ry day; Still praying as I’m onward bound, “Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”
Refrain: Lord, lift me up, and let me stand By faith, on heaven’s tableland; A higher plane than I have found, Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.
2 My heart has no desire to stay Where doubts arise and fears dismay; Though some may dwell where these abound, My prayer, my aim, is higher ground. [Refrain]
3 I want to live above the world, Though Satan’s darts at me are hurled; For faith has caught a joyful sound, The song of saints on higher ground. [Refrain]
4 I want to scale the utmost height, And catch a gleam of glory bright; But still I’ll pray till heav’n I’ve found, “Lord, lead me on to higher ground.” [Refrain]
Source: One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism: an African American ecumenical hymnal #492
The Word tells us that if we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will cause us to ride on the high places of the earth.
“Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” Isaiah 58:14
What is the significance of high places in the Bible?
This is taken in whole from this source: https://www.gotquestions.org/high-places.html
High places were places of worship on elevated pieces of ground. High places were dedicated to idol worship (Numbers 33:52; Leviticus 26:30), especially among the Moabites (Isaiah 16:12). These shrines often included an altar and a sacred object such as a stone pillar or wooden pole in various shapes identified with the object of worship (animals, constellations, goddesses, and fertility deities). It seems that, at times, high places were set up in a spot that had been artificially elevated; 2 Kings 16:4 seems to differentiate the “high places” from the “hills.” The Israelites, forever turning away from God, practiced Molech worship and built high places for Baal (Jeremiah 32:35). Although Solomon built the temple of God in Jerusalem, he later established idolatrous high places for his foreign wives outside of Jerusalem and worshiped with them, causing him the loss of the kingdom (1 Kings 11:11). The people were still sacrificing at the pagan high places before the temple was built, and Solomon joined them. After the Lord appeared to him in a dream at Gibeon, the king returned to Jerusalem and sacrificed offerings; however, he continued to waver between the two places of worship. Not all high places were dedicated to idol worship. They played a major role in Israelite worship, and the earliest biblical mention of a site of worship, later called a “high place,” is found in Genesis 12:6–8 where Abram built altars to the Lord at Shechem and Hebron. Abraham built an altar in the region of Moriah and was willing to sacrifice his son there (Genesis 22:1–2). This site is traditionally believed to be the same high place where the temple of Jerusalem was built. Jacob set up a stone pillar to the Lord at Bethel (Genesis 28:18–19), and Moses met God on Mt. Sinai (Exodus 19:1–3). Joshua set up stone pillars after crossing the Jordan (Joshua 4:20) and considered this a high place of worship because the Israelites “came up from” the Jordan onto higher ground. The high places were visited regularly by the prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 7:16). High places as sites of Canaanite idol worship (Judges 3:19) extended into the period of Elijah (1 Kings 18:16–40). God would name only one high place where sacrifice was authorized, and that was the temple in Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 3:1). God commanded that all other high places be destroyed. King Josiah destroyed them in 2 Kings 22—23.
In the Isaiah 58:14 passage above the prophet is saying, if we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us victory over the idols set up on the high places and over those who worship them. Like and army on horseback we will trample the idols under our feet and utterly decimate their altars.
In Ephesians 6:12 we read,
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places”
We also know that the devil, Satan, and his minions were cast out of heaven, cut down to the ground, and will be brought down to hell, to the pit. (See Isaiah 14-12-19)
Idol worship was done in high places because they were considered to be closer to Heaven. The tower of Babel was being built so that men could ascend to the heavens where it was believed they could get to the high dwelling place of God.
And there are frequent references in the Scriptures of God dwelling in high places above the earth. (Psalm 91; Ephesians 1:3; 1:20; 2:6;)
The second coming of Christ will be as the angel declared it to the disciples at His ascension.
“Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.” Acts 1:9
“…who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11
When Jesus returns the dead in Christ will rise first then we who remain shall be caught up with them. Rise and be caught up; references to going to high places.
“Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus, we shall always be with the Lord.” 1Thessalonians 4:17
Our ultimate destiny is to go up to meet the Lord and be with Him forever. While we are here on earth as we delight ourselves in the Lord, He gives us the power and authority to ride upon the high places of the earth to tread down the idols of men and to establish high places of worship to God alone. And He will feed us with the riches and bounty of the heritage of Jacob.
The heritage of Jacob is all the fulness of God’s covenant promises to Israel and to the Church through Jesus Christ our Lord. As we delight ourselves in the Lord these are His promise to us. Eternal life, Salvation, Healings, Blessings, Provision, Wisdom, Health, Wealth and Prosperity and all the resources of heaven and earth.
The wickedness and corruption of those in positions of power and authority in the world and particularly in our nation can trouble and vex our souls. So, we need to be reminded and speak to our minds and believe in our hearts and know that God is greater and nothing that is going on will go unanswered by Him or be allowed to thrive endlessly. But while we await God’s timing we can go up to the high place of peace and rest for our souls, the place of God’s light and truth that the darkness of this world cannot withstand.
“Vindicate me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation; Oh, deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man! For You are the God of my strength; why do You cast me off? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your tabernacle. Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; and on the harp I will praise You, O God, my God. Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.” Psalm 43:1-5