Zion – City of God

Morning Devotion November 3rd Psalm 87

He has set his foundation on the holy mountain;
The Lord loves the gates of Zion more than the dwellings of Jacob.
Glorious things are said of you, O city of God.

Zion is often used to refer to the land of Israel, or specifically the City of Jerusalem. Specifically though, the reference should be to just a small part of the ancient city which was the original Jebusite stronghold conquered by David – the original City of David. Today that small part is a ruin, a tumble of ancient stones cascading down the slope near the Old City’s Dung Gate. 

The Bible is full of references to Zion as the City of God. And it often seems more than just the ancient city, or the Temple, or even those broken steps. In my own reading I have begun to see the reference to a metaphorical City, the one that comes down out of heaven – the new Jerusalem. But also, I see it as a picture of the Kingdom of God – not a geographical entity, but the “place” where Christ reigns as Lord. This can especially be in your heart, the way in which you live the two great commands – Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and spirit; and love your neighbour as God loves you. We want to concretize so much of our faith, to turn it into something which we can touch and see (and manipulate!). But faith is a life lived in the real Presence of the unseen God who made the heavens and the earth and all that is in them; who has revealed Himself to us in Christ Jesus; and who, through Him, has shown us amazing love which dealt with our separation from Him which comes by sin and for which He atoned at the Cross.

Perhaps that tumble of stones outside the Dung Gate is a metaphor of what this Zion has become today. We are so charged up with hype that our attention has changed to other more “real” things, but “the Lord loves the gates of Zion more than the dwellings of Jacob”. Jacob was a selfish, sneaky, conniving stealer of the inheritance. He lived for the “now” and for what he could get for himself. O, that we would return to Zion’s gate and leave behind the tents of Jacob.

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