Summary: Zion is a symbol not only of Israel's past and future, but also of the born-again Christian's citizenship in the God's Kingdom. Today, as we look at our text, I want you to notice how God takes nobodies and turns the world's competitive, prestige-orient
Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken
1. I was looking at a list of some fads from the 1990's. Among them were: spandex shorts, Pokemon, Grunge music and fashion, The Macarena, Bowl cut, What would Jesus do?, Pogs, Polly Pocket Toys, and Tickle Me Elmo.
2. In that list, only one fad had long-term bearing, "What Would Jesus Do?" But that question cannot be asked as a mere fad; it is most important when it is asked by a devoted follower of Jesus Christ.
3. Was God's dealings with Zion and Jerusalem in the First Testament a mere temporary fad? The answer is no. But Zion itself carries with it an atmosphere, a mystique, because it not only represents a physical location, but amazing spiritual realities.
Main idea: Zion is a symbol not only of Israel's past and future, but also of the born-again Christian's citizenship in the God's Kingdom.
Today, as we look at our text, I want you to notice how God takes nobodies and turns the world's competitive, prestige-oriented perspective upside down by making them somebody. God glories in doing this.
I. Zion's FOUNDATION is Amazing (1-3)
A. He ESTABLISHED Holy Zion (1)
1. “Archaeologists and historians have long wondered why Jerusalem should
have been established where it was, and why it should have become great. It enjoys none of the physical features which favored the advancement and prosperity of other important cities in the world.
"It stands at the head of no great river. It overlooks no great harbor. It commands no great highway and no cross-roads. It is not close to abundant sources of water. …It possesses no mineral riches. It was off the main trade routes. It held no strategic key to the conquest of vast areas ...
"Indeed it was blessed with neither special economic nor topographic virtues which might explain why it should have ever become more than a small, anonymous mountain village with a fate any different from that of most contemporary villages which have long since vanished" (from work by Teddy Kolick and Moshe Peariman). [William MacDonald, Enjoying the Psalms]
2. God chose Israel not because of anything special about them, but because He had determined to love them specially (Deuteronomy 7:6-8). Something similar could be said about His choice of Jerusalem as the place to put His Name.
3. In New Testament, the focus is the spiritual realities behind God's physical actions and promises. Jesus Christ is the foundation and we are the Temple or stones in the Temple walls. No other foundation that can be laid (I Cor. 3:11)
4. Jesus was not particularly attractive, and many thought him an unfit Messiah (despised and rejected of men). There was no obvious reason He should the one.
5. If you have come to know Jesus, God chose you. Most of you did not attend an Ivy League school, are not millionaires, and not from prestigious families.
B. He loves ZION more than other places (2)
1. While studying Psalm 48, I suggested that Zion is
• the convergence of time and space.
• connected to her past and future,
• earthy Jerusalem is connected to the heavenly Jerusalem, the New Jerusalem.
2. Yet one does not eliminate the other.
• Christ will rule on the earth from a refurbished old Jerusalem, while the New Jerusalem continues in heaven.
• After the 1,000 Kingdom, New Jerusalem will descend. This includes the hill of "Zion," the hill of Zion on which the Temple is to be built.
3. The New Testament correlation: God loves all mankind, but He lavishes a special love upon those who know Jesus as Lord and Savior.
• Do you personally know Jesus Christ? Has the obstacle between you and God been removed – sin? That obstacle cannot be pushed away, you cannot take an air hammer to it.
• The only way to remove it is by turning from your sin and turning in faith to Jesus Christ.
C. The Multitudes Discuss the CITY of God (3)
1. During the Millennium, the world's people will flock to Jerusalem to worship the Lord, who will be seated on David's throne, King Jesus.
2. In the New Testament, men see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. Titus 2:10b, " showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect…"
3. Thus are lives are to be a living sacrifice as we order them to bring glory to God.
II. God ADOPTS Foreigners As Zion's Citizens (4-6)
A. WE are those citizens
Rahab = Egypt, Rahab and Babylon = superpowers of the day
Philistia = the enemy Israel could never fully drive out
Tyre = the northern Phoenicians (Lebanon), Ethiopia = the distant nations
Galatians 4:26, "But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother."