By: Pastor Yang Tuck Yoong
Psalm 87 is the Psalm of Zion. Verses 1-7 tell us, “His foundation is in the holy mountains. The Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God! “I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to those who know Me; behold, O Philistia and Tyre, with Ethiopia: ‘This one was born there.’” And of Zion it will be said, “This one and that one were born in her; and the Most High Himself shall establish her.” The Lord will record, when He registers the peoples: “This one was born there.” Both the singers and the players on instruments say, ‘All my springs are in you.’”
Every great president or king has his palace.
The President of the United States lives in the White House, which is his official residence. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom lives in 10 Downing Street. Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the Royal Family. The Imperial Palace is the official residence of the Emperor of Japan. The Istana is the official residence of our President in Singapore. Zion is the official residence of the Most High.
It is the place that He has chosen for Himself. It is the place where His glory dwells and it conjures the highest aspirations of the Christian faith.
When we speak on the subject of Zion, we are touching the deepest parts of who we are as a church.
When we speak on the subject of Zion, we are touching the deepest parts of who we are as a church. Zion is a vital ingredient of our DNA. It is the vision that God has set before us. It’s who we are. Zion is our destiny, it’s our eternal home.
It was this city that Abraham saw in a vision, and when you have a vision of Zion, the New Jerusalem, like Abraham, you are contented to live the rest of your life in tents because nothing else compares. Everything else pales in comparison. The greatest cities on the earth are counted as dust before this eternal and majestic city.
Zion represents the apex of God's purposes in our pilgrimage here on earth and falling short of attaining this is to fall short in our quest. We all start off from Egypt but the terminus, the endpoint, the pinnacle of our pilgrim journey is to stand on Mount Zion. For that to happen, we need to understand what Zion represents, we need to articulate and define what Zion is, and we need to know how to get there.
Zion represents the apex of God's purposes in our pilgrimage here on earth and falling short of attaining this is to fall short in our quest.
If you recall, Israel was delivered twice in her history. First from Egypt. Then a second time from Babylon. Now if you are still in spiritual Egypt, it means you are not yet saved. If you are out of Egypt and in Babylon, you are saved but in confusion. God wants to deliver you, not just from the world and the devil, but out of confusion.
In Psalm 78:67-70, we read, “Moreover He rejected the tent of Joseph, and did not choose the tribe of Ephraim, but chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion which He loved. And He built His sanctuary like the heights, like the earth which He has established forever. He also chose David His servant, and took him from the sheepfolds…”
Psalm 78 is basically a recitation of the history of Israel and the journey they took in the wilderness for 40 years. When we come to Verses 67-70, we see that God summarises the chapter by indicating His choice.
1) The first thing He chooses is the Tribe.
He rejected the tribe of Joseph and the tribe of Ephraim, which were the two most prominent tribes in Israel. But He chose the Tribe of Judah to be the leader. Your tribal anointing is an important part of your inheritance.
2) The next thing He chose was the place.
He chose Mount Zion to be where He would dwell.
3) Then He chooses the leader.
And the Lord’s choice was obvious. He chose David.
The place He chose is Zion, but it represents more than a place; it represents His highest aspirations in His people.
So, He first chooses a people, then a place and then a man. He chose the nation of Israel first, then He chose the land to give to them, and when all that was settled, He chose Abraham to father the nation. The place He chose is Zion, but it represents more than a place; it represents His highest aspirations in His people.
Now, before the holy hill was called Zion, it was named Jebus, after one of the Canaanite tribes, the Jebusites. No one could dislodge the Jebusites from their stronghold, not Joshua, not the Benjamites, nor Saul. Jebus was a natural fortress, which stood on a cliff and it was almost impenetrable.
And for hundreds of years, the Jebusites dwelt in safely within its fortified walls. When David became King, the first thing on his to-do list was to retake Jebus because David had this amazing revelation that the place the Jebusites were occupying was where God wanted His glory to dwell.
Earthly Zion had to be retaken because it is a replica of the heavenly Zion.
As David arrived at the foot of the hill, the Jebusites looked down from their stronghold and said to David contemptuously, “Even our lame and our blind will repel you”. They were self-assured on top of the hill and they didn’t think that anyone could ever breach their defenses. But they did not know to whom they were speaking to.
David wasn’t some ordinary tribal warlord; he was the thrice-anointed king of Israel and within a short span of time, David’s mighty men took that city.
The city of Jebus was renamed the City of David or Zion and it became David’s stronghold. Now, Zion is not a very large place, only about 10 acres in all when David first conquered it. But it expanded through the centuries to be what Jerusalem is today.
Zion is the high point of Jerusalem and it had to be reclaimed for the kingdom because the Ark of the Covenant did not belong anywhere else but on Zion’s hill. The Tabernacle of David which God loves, was erected on Zion’s hill. And earthly Zion had to be retaken because it is a replica of the heavenly Zion.
In Jeremiah 50, we are told that the day is coming when God’s people will entreat the Lord again, asking for the way to Zion. The key phrase is: “They shall ask the way to Zion”, that’s the whole purpose of this Word, that God will birth this cry in our hearts. I believe this is a question that God has been waiting for His church to ask.
To continue reading the rest of this article, click here.