If the elevator is out of order, I always prefer to walk down the stairs than travel up. When hiking, walking uphill is hard especially if when you go with a bunch of whining children. Going downhill or hiking on flat land is best than hiking uphill.
Jesus called us to be a city set on the hill. In order to build the city on the hill, one must first define which hill to climb and climb it. You not only have to climb the mountain, but you must clear the trees, build the city and clear out the enemies. It is hard, however, Caleb and Joshua, the 2 faithful spies, understood it. Both men of faith did not ask for easy inheritance on flat lands but asked to conquer mountains and giants on them. Joshua asked for Timnath Serah in the Mountains of Ephraim. Caleb asked for the mountains (Joshua 14:12) and drove out 3 sons of Anak (hard work since they were giants) and took Kirjath Arba (Hebron: a walled city on the mountain) and Kirjath Sepher (Debir). Both faithful warriors of God built their cities on mountains. They understood the meaning to be "A city set on a hill."
Even though the children of Judah could not drive out the Jebusites, generations later, King David of Judah, drive out the Jebusites and conquered Jerusalem, and built God's temple there. Again, the temple was built on a mountain (Mount Moriah). King David understood the meaning to be "A city set on a hill."
Jesus, another mountain climber, went up to the Mount of Olives. It was there, at a mountain, that he descended. It was there, on the mountain, that the multitude of disciples saw Jesus as the King.
It is no coincidence that 3 out of 6 cities of refugees were also built on mountains: Kedish in the mountains of Naphtali, Shechem in the mountains of Ephraim, and Kirjath Arba (Hebron) in the mountains of Judah. Cites of refugees are cities of mercy and grace. God wants us to show our mercy and grace in the mountains so His light can be shined upon us.
However, the children of Joseph complained to Joshua about not having enough land, "The mountain country is not enough for us, and all the Canaanites who dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron."
Joshua encouraged the house of Joseph, "You are a great people and have great power; you shall not have only one lot, but the mountain country shall be yours. Although it is wooded, you shall cut it down, and its farthest extend shall be yours; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots and are strong."
After Jesus spoke of the parable of minas.
In the parable of the Minas, Jesus promised the faithful that they will have authority over cities. With God, we are a great people with great power. Are we like the children of Joseph, refusing to be faithful and do the hard work on the Mountain or afraid of the worldly chariots? Do we settle for easy flat land? We shall be faithful like Caleb, Joshua, King David, and Jesus. We shall faithfully claim our inheritance in the mountains. We shall set a city on the hill so the light of Jesus can be seen. Let's start the ascend.
Yes, we are God's city on a hill! Enjoy this song I found on Youtube.
Time with Abba Scripture reference: