The Dark Mountains
Jeremiah 13:16-17
Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble on the dark mountains, and…

I. CONTEMPLATE THE WANDERERS. Darkness is used in Holy Scripture to denote that repugnance to God and spiritual things which sin produces in the mind (Isaiah 9:2; Romans 1:21). Talk to them of these things, and their sealed lips and cold indifference will prove that they have not been taught the way of righteousness by the Spirit of truth. And no wonder (1 Corinthians 2:14). But this condition is not forced upon men by any irresistible power. It is true that they are all born in sin and "shapen in iniquity" (Psalm 51:5); but the remedy for their blindness is ever at hand, if they would but receive it. Here, then, we see the culpability of their state; it is willing ignorance; they refuse to be enlightened (John 3:20). No wonder, therefore, that they prefer the dark mountains of sin in order that they may pursue, as they list, the forbidden works of darkness (Job 24:13). And this rebellion against the light may be traced up to the depravity of their hearts. They are not only willingly ignorant, and therefore criminally guilty, but their affections are corrupted. Here, again, we have another idea suggested by the term darkness, It implies the moral pollution of human nature, which is opposed to that inward purity which the light of the Holy Spirit communicates. The heart of the wicked is actually depraved and vitiated; and from that source, as from a contaminated fountain, flow the copious streams of ungodliness and worldly lust.


1. As we dwell attentively on the scene thus brought before us, we discover that these mountains are overspread with many rough places and pitfalls. No wonder, then, that, encompassed as they are with darkness, without a light or a truthful guide, we see many of those wanderers continually falling. We picture to ourselves that young man, just released from the parental restraints of home, wandering up the side of yonder dark mountain in the depth of night. He does not mean to wander far, and he thinks he can easily retrace his steps at will. But although to those whose eyes are spiritually opened it is dark and sterile ground, it possesses for him a secret and seductive attraction, which leads him on and farther still he goes.

2. They were not happy when they began the dismal journey, and they have never been happy since; but we see them stumbling into greater miseries at every step they take.

3. As we gaze upon these wanderers, we see by the light of the text a thicker darkness overspreading the mountains, and some are rapidly lost to our sight in the impenetrable gloom. At first we see but a comparatively light cloud, the cloud of affliction. That poor wanderer has squandered his health in the service of sin; and now he is brought low, he can enjoy sin no longer. As our vision is still resting on the dark mountains, another cloud arises; see it shooting forth the forked lightnings of God's judgments, and many are the victims it brings low.

III. ENFORCE THE EXPOSTULATION OF THE TEXT. To give glory to God is to honour Him, and God is honoured when we turn to Him with hearty repentance, and submit ourselves in obedience to His authority.

(W. D. Brock, B. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.

WEB: Give glory to Yahweh your God, before he causes darkness, and before your feet stumble on the dark mountains, and, while you look for light, he turns it into the shadow of death, and makes it gross darkness.

Lost Upon the Dark Mountains
Top of Page
Top of Page