What is Zion

What is Zion

The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee; The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 60:14)

For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, …….. But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. (Hebrews 12:18, 22-24)

And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. (Revelation 14:1)

Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. (1 Peter 2:6)

“What is Zion? What is Mount Zion? What is the biblical meaning of Zion?”

Psalm 87:2-3 says, “The LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are said of you, O city of God.” Occurring over 150 times in the Bible, the word “Zion” essentially means “fortification.” In the Bible, Zion is both the city of David and the city of God. As the Bible progresses, the word “Zion” transitions from referring primarily to a physical city to having a more spiritual meaning.
The first mention of the word “Zion” in the Bible is 2 Samuel 5:7:

“Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion, the City of David.” “Zion,” therefore, was originally the name of the ancient Jebusite fortress in the city of Jerusalem. “Zion” came to stand not only for the fortress but also for city in which the fortress stood.

After David captured “the stronghold of Zion,” Zion was then called “the City of David” (1 Kings 8:1; 1 Chronicles 11:5; 2 Chronicles 5:2).
When Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem, “Zion” expanded in meaning to include the temple and the area surrounding it (Psalms 2:6; 48:2, 11-12; 132:13). “Zion” was eventually used as a name for the city of Jerusalem, the land of Judah, and the people of Israel as a whole (Isaiah 40:9; Jeremiah 31:12; Zechariah 9:13).
The most important use of the word “Zion” is in a theological sense. “Zion” is used figuratively of Israel as the people of God (Isaiah 60:14). The spiritual meaning of “Zion” is continued in the New Testament, where it is given the Christian meaning of God’s spiritual kingdom, the heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 14:1). Peter refers to Christ as the Cornerstone of Zion: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame” (1 Peter 2:6).

Coming to Mount Zion

by Ray Stedman

For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, …….. But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. (Hebrews 12:18, 22-24)

The writer is here speaking of that which motivates us in the Christian life. We are not to be driven by fear. Not by the Law with its demands upon us, Do this, or else. Not by self-effort, not by the gritted teeth and the clenched fist and a determination that we are going to serve God. If we serve because we are afraid, as the Law frightened Israel in the terrible scene on Mt. Sinai, we will lose something from God.

It is not fear that is our motive; it is fullness, it is what God has given us.

You have come not to this Mount Sinai, but to Mount Zion, the place of grace; and to the new Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come under a new government. And to angels. Angels are ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to those who are to be the heirs of salvation, i.e., Christians. And to the church of the firstborn whose names are written in heaven.

This is those who are born in Christ, sharing his life with our names written in heaven. And to God, the judge of all, whether they are Christians or not. And to the spirits of the righteous made perfect.

These are the Old Testament saints, men and women of God who lived in the days when the promise was given before the cross, who looked forward by faith and who are waiting now for us. And to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. A mediator is not someone up in heaven somewhere, in some distant reach of space; he is an indwelling Christ. He is available to us. He is right here to be our strength, our righteousness, our wisdom, whatever we need.

When Abel’s blood was shed it cried out for vengeance, as the book of Genesis tells us, but Jesus’ blood did not speak of vengeance — it speaks of access, of vindication, of the fact there is no problem between us and God that is not settled by his blood. There is no longer any question of guilt. We can come completely accepted in the Beloved.

Thus, with all this on our side there is no need to fail, is there? That is the point he is making. Certainly it gets rough, certainly it gets discouraging, surely there are times when the pressures are intense, but have you reckoned on your resources? Have you forgotten them?

Have we entered Mt. Zion, where joy and freedom from fear is our spiritual heritage? Is our worship and our works motivated by God’s grace, and His love which casts out fear ?

Gracious Father, we are so grateful that by grace you have led us to Mount Zion. Now help us to stand strong, and to be yours in every circumstance of life.

Selah!!! (Stop; think about this!!!)

Are you dwelling in Zion?

For the Lord God of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land. Therefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt. For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction. And the Lord of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb: and as his rod was upon the sea, so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt.
AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS IN THAT DAY, THAT HIS BURDEN SHALL BE TAKEN AWAY FROM OFF THY SHOULDER, AND HIS YOKE FROM OFF THY NECK, AND THE YOKE SHALL BE DESTROYED BECAUSE OF THE ANOINTING. (Isaiah 10:23-27)

Are you dwelling in Zion?

Goodness & Love

Goodness & Love

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

The goodness and love of God are the attributes that He has which act as the anchor or ‘litmus test’ for His other attributes; goodness and love are the features that authenticate every other attribute of God. God is good; God’s mercy is good; God’s grace is good; God’s holiness is good; God’s righteousness is good; God’s immutability is good; God’s justice is good; God’s sovereignty and self-existence are good; God’s eternality is good; God’s omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience and Immanence are good; God’s transcendence is good – AND THEY ALL ARE AS A RESULT OF HIS LOVE: BECAUSE GOD IS LOVE

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him” (I John 4:16).

So in Good Times: Or Bad Times:

All that God is and does is good.
” Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes “ (Psalm 119:68).

God’s goodness and love last forever.
” O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever “ (Psalm 107:1).

God is good to everyone.
” The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works “ (Psalm 145:9).

Everything God made was good.
” And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day “ (Genesis 1:31).

God has goodness stored up for us.
” Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! “ (Psalm 31:19).

Everything from God is good.
” For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving “ (1 Timothy 4:4).

All things that are good are from God.
” Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning “ (James 1:17).

God alone is Good
“And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:16-17).

” For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly “ (Psalm 84:11).

When We Remember These We Realise That:

We are blessed through God’s goodness.
” O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him “ (Psalm 34:8).

Goodness can come from all circumstances.
” And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose “ (Romans 8:28).

His goodness leads to repentance.
” According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue “ (2 Peter 1:3).

” Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? “ (Romans 2:4, NKJV)

God’s goodness is our shelter
” O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him “ (Psalm 34:8).

God is good in His entirety, there is nothing about God that is not good even His wrath is good. There is nothing God purposes for His children which is not good. God gives to His children only that which is good. And He withholds nothing good from us. God is good, and He is at work in our lives for good. Nothing which God creates; nothing which God accomplishes is not good, God is love and that’s why the greatest power that man can possess is love –real love as described by Apostle Paul –

“Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned” (in I Tim. 1:5).

The goal of our command is love; that comes from a PURE HEART, GOOD CONSCIENCE AND SINCERE FAITH.

Heavenly Father, we pray that You will please multiply your glorious riches in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ unto us and fill us with the knowledge of Your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding that we may be able to seek that stillness of soul that will empower us to wait on You; so that we may have the confidence to say –

” O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him “ (Psalm 34:8);

Because Your  goodness is our shelter