Today it’s time to put on our hiking boots and climbing gear and head to higher elevations! Have you ever seen a mountain or a hill in a dream? If so, you’re going to get some insight today into their possible metaphoric meaning. Rather than concentrate only on Biblical passages, I’m going to take an approach that you will also need to use should you ever get dreams where God is teaching you about science and creation.
If you’ve never taken a look at geology from the dual perspectives of combining science and metaphors, now’s your chance to get an idea how this works. At the end here, I have two very different examples of dreams that show both the positive and negative symbology for a mountain and what you can learn from these personally.
Science & God’s Creation
One of the most significant keys to understanding dreams is to have a knowledge of science and creation. Since God created everything that exists, it should be no surprise that everything we see on earth and in space will have many profound insights with personal application of all sorts. It was actually this knowledge of science and nature that allowed Joseph to understand the meaning of a dream where birds eating out of a basket meant the death of a man was imminent (Genesis 40:16-22).
With that in mind, when considering what a mountain range does from the perspective of a geological formation, we can then begin thinking how it may have a personal meaning to us. Probably the best way to start on this topic is to use a method that also works great on interpreting dreams – start from the most general concept and then move increasingly towards the specific details and elements.
Atmospheric & Environmental Characteristics
Let’s begin by noting that mountains have a very pronounced effect on the region where they exist. Weather patterns in or near mountains are very different than what you find in mostly flatland areas. The movement of air over rising and falling terrain creates a variety of unusual atmospheric anomalies. Over flatland areas, air masses move based on the rotation of the earth, combined with uneven heating and cooling of the air plus differences in air pressure masses that move through a region.
But when you introduce a huge geological formation of earth and rocks, all these airflow patterns become greatly disrupted. The primary element of this interference results in a principle that we find as a central key in the study of aerodynamics. The movement of air masses over rising terrain in mountain ranges is exactly the same idea as what causes the wings of an airplane to take flight. This is what’s known as the Bernoulli principle.
In 1738, Daniel Bernoulli published his discovery of the way air behaves like a fluid and behaves in ways that may seem paradoxical. When air moves over a raised surface, it speeds up on the upward sloping front end and slows down on the downward sloping back end. As the air is moves upward over a raised surface, its speed increases due to the constricting effect of the raised surface but the pressure actually decreases. It is this decrease in pressure that also takes place on the upper surface of a curved wing, causing an aircraft to fly. See these links for more insights: Airplane Aerodynamics, Subsonic Flow.
As this air moves over a mountain range, you have a greater effect than what a wing experiences because of the thousands of feet that the terrain rises. The higher you go up a mountain, the thinner the air gets. Thinner air at higher elevations means changes in vegetation to the point where trees and most plants and grasses eventually stop growing (see: “timber line” or “tree line”).
The higher you go, the colder the air gets, even to the point where the increase of hundreds of feet of elevation is equal to traveling hundreds of miles in the direction of the nearest of the earth’s poles (based on whether you live north or south of the equator).
These are just some of the many characteristics and effects that mountains have on their physical surroundings. But there’s much more to consider than just these aspects. Remember, we’re looking to discern the metaphoric meaning these carry in your nighttime dreams.
Science and Metaphors
Let’s now transition here to combining scientific facts to metaphors. Going back to the effect of higher altitudes, in metaphoric speech, trees can be a Biblical symbol for people. It’s rare to find those who operate at higher “spiritual elevations” so most of the time, there’s a “spiritual timber line” that few go beyond. Snow is common at the highest peaks even in summer time and this can be symbolic of purity and God’s glory and presence.
Very high winds are common in mountain ranges and frequent thunderstorms are common during the summer months especially in the regions east of the Rockies in places like Colorado. Wind can be symbolic of the moving of the Holy Spirit and the effect He produces can be quite dramatic in the lives of people who come into contact with Him.
Mountains also have an emotional, spiritual and psychological effect by creating an atmosphere that can induce a spiritual awakening (positive or negative) and also bring a sense of peace and majesty. Just standing in a mountain range and looking at these enormous formations is quite inspiring.
The terrain contours in mountains and hills can cause one to completely lose their sense of direction. If you’ve ever hiked or driven for a long time in this kind of terrain, you’ll know this is true. But this can also work in your favor metaphorically because this can be a “hiding place” where you can cause the enemy (devil) to lose you.
As you see, the more we consider the many features of mountains and hills from the scientific and metaphoric aspects, the more we can begin to discover what personal applications may exist. We should also expect to find similar themes popping up in Biblical passages. As stated at the top of this article, the combination of these two perspectives will point us in the right direction for any message that God is sending us in our dreams while we sleep.
Mountains in Psalms
Now with that brief discussion of science and geography, let’s check out what God has to say about mountains and hills. The following are some of the most prominent passages that deal with each. Aside from what I’m listing here, I recommend doing your own study and find any others I have omitted.
Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah.
(Psalm 46:3 NKJV)
(Strength and security)
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised In the city of our God, In His holy mountain.
(Psalm 48:1 NKJV)
(Dwelling place of God)
And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.
(Matthew 14:23 NKJV)
(Place of meeting with God)
And He brought them to His holy border, This mountain which His right hand had acquired.
(Psalm 78:54 NKJV)
(Presence of God – Exodus – place of meeting with God – Moses and Israelites)
Who established the mountains by His strength, Being clothed with power;
(Psalm 65:6 NKJV)
(Power and creative ability of God)
Why do you fume with envy, you mountains of many peaks? This is the mountain which God desires to dwell in; Yes, the Lord will dwell in it forever.
(Psalm 68:16 NKJV)
(Where God desires to come down to you and remain)
The mountains will bring peace to the people, And the little hills, by righteousness.
(Psalm 72:3 NKJV)
(Peace and security)
Your righteousness is like the great mountains; Your judgments are a great deep; O Lord, You preserve man and beast.
(Psalm 36:6 NKJV)
(Righteousness of God)
“then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
(Matthew 24:16 NKJV)
(Place of hiding and protection from warfare)
“What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying?
(Matthew 18:12 NKJV)
(Terrain can cause you to lose your sense of direction)
Every valley shall be filled And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough ways smooth;
(Luke 3:5 NKJV)
(Hindrance to your “travel” or progress)
Hills & Higher Elevations
Hills are also part of our study here as well so let’s deal with them briefly. There is a distinction between mountains (very large and high) and hills (much smaller in comparison). There are significant differences in terrain features and so it should be no surprise that the meaning of each is different. This is also what we see when looking in the Bible for the way each are referred to. Check out these examples next…
Wisdom is often referred to as a woman, especially as seen in the entire chapter of Proverbs 8. If you see yourself standing on a hill, it is possible God is telling you that you are either receiving wisdom or are in need of it. Think of how standing on a higher elevation gives a much better view of what’s going on around you than if you are down in a valley where the view is limited or can be easily obstructed. Wisdom can therefore be likened to having a “higher” or less obstructed view.
She takes her stand on the top of the high hill, Beside the way, where the paths meet.
(Proverbs 8:2 NKJV)
Looking at this from the opposite perspective, anything that is up on top of a hill is much more visible than what is down below. Think of how billboard advertisements are often raised up at an elevated location so they can be seen by the most people. Rarely do you see those down at ground level.
Consider how what you see in a dream can have either a positive or negative meaning based on the thing you are seeing up at this elevated position for many to see. This is a place where things are exposed or revealed.
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
(Matthew 5:14 NKJV)
Taking these next passages above, let’s look at how it relates to two very prominent prophets. In the two passages below, we see Elijah and Elisha appearing on the top of a hill. It doesn’t exactly say what they were doing there but looking again at our above references, these are each like a demonstrated application of the symbolic meanings of both combined into one.
Each of these prophets, by nature of their calling or “office”, received wisdom from God and were much more spiritually elevated than all the rest in their time. Therefore, connecting the image of these prophets on top of a hill, it can be said that there is also a connection between prophetic revelation and being on top of a hill. That may mean that if you or someone else are up on a hill, it can be you/they are receiving prophetic revelation or it may be a subtle clue about your life calling.
Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty with his fifty men. So he went up to him; and there he was, sitting on the top of a hill. And he spoke to him: “Man of God, the king has said, ‘Come down!’ ”
(2 Kings 1:9 NKJV)
Now when she came to the man of God at the hill, she caught him by the feet, but Gehazi came near to push her away. But the man of God said, “Let her alone; for her soul is in deep distress, and the Lord has hidden it from me, and has not told me.”
(2 Kings 4:27 NKJV)
Negative Dream Example
I also had a very different type of dream a year ago where I first saw myself at the top of a dark and very steep rocky mountain. I was riding a mountain bike (means independent) down through a succession of narrow steep “chutes” (normally a skiing term) that led to a flat area and then another steep drop. I remember thinking how anyone can ride down at a near-vertical drop in this terrain without getting killed!
When I got to the bottom, I looked back and saw this massive dark colored mountain and I was taking photos of it. Standing next to me at the bottom was a person I’ve known for many years who unfortunately has a long history of a very arrogant and self-centered attitude. I immediately understood that his presence revealed the meaning of this scene, that it was a dark and evil mountain of pride. Thankfully, I had come down from this horrid thing.
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
(1 Peter 5:6-7 NKJV)
As you can see from both the video above and this negative example combined together, the same exact verse applies but in two very different contexts. This is a great lesson for all of us as we are in the process of pursuing all that God has for us and remembering to avoid the deadly trap of pride. God will only exalt you if you remain humble. But if you exalt yourself, man may temporarily lift you up but your fall is coming down the tracks in due time (I’ve been there myself!)
So now, if you read through this entire article, then you’ve seen how the knowledge of creation and Biblical passages both combine together to give insight into the metaphoric images we see in our dreams. The more you study both, the more you will understand the deeper levels of insight that God has available in our dreams. Next time you see images of mountains or hills, you’ll have a better idea what God is communicating to you at night.
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