Zion is the ancient name for Jerusalem, and appears over 150 times in the Old Testament alone. Mt. Zion was the City of David and the city that housed the Tabernacle of David. Zion is where the Lord dwells; it is a place of strength and joy. Zion is where God is praised and where His beauty shines forth. In Zion God’s Name is declared and it is where He reigns. We are citizens of this city.
O Lord, who may abide in Your tent?
Who may dwell on Your holy hill?
He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, And speaks truth in his heart. (verses 1-2)
God’s tent is where His glory shines forth. The Tabernacle of David housed only the Ark of the Covenant which was the glory of God, but with it came a new order of worship. Worship is not only singing, but the way we live. Our obedience is worship. You cannot abide in God’s presence if you are not righteous. We are righteous because of the shed blood of Christ, and because of His sacrifice the precepts of God are now upon our hearts:
For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves. (Romans 2:14 NASB)
He does not slander with his tongue,
Nor does evil to his neighbor,
Nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
In whose eyes a reprobate is despised,
But who honors those who fear the Lord;
He swears to his own hurt and does not change;
He does not put out his money at interest,
Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things will never be shaken. (vv. 3-5)
These verses breathe the Decalogue in every word. The Ten Commandments are not just a set of binding laws, but a way of life for citizens of Zion ~ you and me. God desires to dwell with His people; one main purpose for the Tabernacle of Moses and the Tabernacle of David was so that God may dwell with His people.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it… And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1: 1-5,14 NASB)
Jerusalem is the holy city and Zion is God’s holy mountain, the place God ordained that His Name should dwell. Zion represents worship; it is God’s mountain. Zion is a fortress, and a symbol of His rule, kingship, and worship. As citizens of the Lord’s city, He expects us to live according to His Word. He has poured out His Grace to strengthen and empower us to live for Him. Let’s live as though we citizens of Zion ~ God’s city.