Go, Tell It on the Mountain

Read: Isaiah 40:9-11

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation. (Isa. 52:7)

“Go, Tell It on the Mountain” was first printed in a collection of spirituals published in 1907 by John Wesley Work, a professor at Tufts University, and was popularized through performances by the Tufts Jubilee Singers. The spiritual picks up on references in Isaiah to preaching the good news of God’s message from the mountaintops.

Why does Isaiah say that those who proclaim the gospel have beautiful feet? I don’t think he’s talking about physical beauty. It’s not as though these preachers have just had pedicures. Their feet may be dusty and calloused, but they’re beautiful because of what they have undertaken in spreading God’s gospel of salvation. Why are these feet especially beautiful when they are walking on the mountains? Maybe it’s because mountains are difficult to climb and cross, but the preachers have done so because they want to reach those who haven’t yet heard the good news. That kind of sacrifice is beautiful to God.

Words of Hope exists to go “tell it” on any number of mountains—and valleys, deserts, cities, towns, and villages. We believe that it’s not enough just to celebrate Christmas for ourselves. Every believer, from every nation—even you!—is called by God to preach the Christmas gospel to the world. Go tell it!

As you pray, ask God to help you share the gospel as he leads you.

Listen along: Go Tell It on the Mountain – Maverick City Music

About the Author

Rev. Dave Bast retired as the President and Broadcast Minister of Words of Hope in January 2017, after 23 years with the ministry. Prior to his ministry and work at Words of Hope, Dave served as a pastor for 18 years in congregations in the Reformed Church in America. He is the author of several devotional books. A graduate of Hope College and Western Theological Seminary, he has also studied at both the Fuller and Calvin seminaries. Dave and his wife, Betty Jo, have four children and four grandchildren. Dave enjoys reading, growing tomatoes, and avidly follows the Detroit Tigers.

This entry is part 19 of 25 in the series Carols and Lessons