What’s the tallest mountain in the world? Everyone knows that it is Mount Everest, reaching a height of 29,035 feet. But where do you start measuring Everest? At sea level. So, what if the base of a mountain can be clearly measured and followed below sea level? Then you just might have a mountain on Earth that is taller than Everest. That’s why some people would call the dormant volcano Mauna Kea (on the Big Island of Hawaii) the tallest mountain in the world.
Mauna Kea stands 13,796 feet above sea level and is the highest peak in Hawaii. Yet most of this mountain is found below sea level. If measured from its base in the ocean, the total height would rise to 33,500 feet, significantly taller than Everest by 4,465 feet! It probably won’t rise any higher since it last erupted about 4,600 years ago. The USGS has marked the Volcanic-Alert Level for this mountain as “Normal.”
The mountain is known for having not only a high altitude, but a dry environment combined with a stable airflow. So, it is one of the best places in the world to observe the heavens. In fact, 13 telescopes funded by 11 countries sit on top of Mauna Kea—which makes many people upset about disrupting the “sacred landscape” of this special mountain. In Hawaiian mythology, the peak of Mauna Kea is one of the most sacred spots on the island and is only to be visited by high-ranking tribal chiefs.
It kind of reminds me of the time God called Moses to the top of Mount Sinai. The Lord wanted to meet with Moses and give Him the sacred law. Later, when God thundered the law to the entire nation of Israel, nobody was to even touch the mountain or they would die.
“But Moses said to the Lord, ‘The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai; for You warned us, saying, ‘Set bounds around the mountain and consecrate it’” (Exodus 19:23).
The Lord has given us instructions on how to approach Him. Because God is holy and pure and we are sinful, it is in humility that we are to come before the Lord. We bow low to Him who is on high.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
For this is what the high and exalted One says-- he who lives forever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite." (Isaiah 57:15)
Pr Lagi Limu