I have been thinking about the word “Zion” lately. And certainly there is esoteric significance to the symbol of Mount Zion. And yet, that doesn’t discount the deep biblical significance of this holy mountain.
What is Zion?
It literally means “fortification”
for·ti·fy (fôrt-f)v. for·ti·fied, for·ti·fy·ing, for·ti·fies
To make strong, as:a. To strengthen and secure (a position) with fortifications.b. To reinforce by adding material.c. To impart physical strength or endurance to; invigorate.d. To give emotional, moral, or mental strength to; encourage: Prayer fortified us during our crisis.e. To strengthen or enrich (food, for example), as by adding vitamins.
I need fortification.
So there is that. I mean the literal meaning of Zion, which is awesome, but there is more.
There is the History of Zion
The first time that Zion is mentioned in the Bible it is enemy territory. It belongs to the Jebusites or Canaanites. Even though the Lord told Israel to drive out the inhabitants when the entered the Promised Land, they did not claim Zion. There was still a stronghold in the land, for 400 years this went on. Until one day, David decided to claim it.
The Jebusites were so confident that they taunted David and his troops saying that even their lame and blind could defeat David’s army.
David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah. And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, David cannot come in hither. Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David. (2 Samuel 5:5-7)
NEVERTHELESS, David took the stronghold of Zion.
What is even crazier is that David had even called their gods blind and lame, for they have eyes and see not, feet and walk not. So while the Jebusites mocked that even the weakest among them, David could not conquer–David believed that the strongest among them, their gods, were as good as lame and blind.
“But,’’ say they, “these are the guardians of our city, and except thou take these away (which thou canst never do) thou canst not come in hither.’’ Some think they were constellated images of brass set up in the recess of the fort, and entrusted with the custody of the place. They called their idols their Mauzzim, or strong-holds (Dan. 11:38) and as such relied on them (Matthew Henry).
So this wasn’t just a physical battle, it was also a spiritual battle. It was a literal spiritual stronghold. And to David, he was not intimidated by their gods, knowing Himself the power of the One True God, Yahweh.
The name of the Lord is our strong tower, and his arm is strong, his eyes are piercing. Note, The enemies of God’s people are often very confident of their own strength and most secure when their day to fall draws nigh. (Matthew Henry)
So Zion Becomes the City of David
As all the images are thrown into the gutter and the enemy is trampled and his ground is plundered. It becomes a city on a hill, a light to the world. Victory is in God.
And the Lord loves this city and sets His heart on it.
For the Lord has chosen Zion;
he has desired it for his dwelling place (Psalm 132:13).
The Lord came to Zion, sitting on a donkey, longing to gather them into His bosom.
The Lord will one day set His feet on Zion again (Revelation 14:1).
But in the meantime, He wants Zion to mean something to His Bride.
We are not to think of His Kingdom as what was begun at Mt. Sinai, but we are to receive the Kingdom of Zion, to become citizens of that heavenly Kingdom.
You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”
But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”
Dear Lord, I need to come to Zion. I need to sing the songs of ascent. I need to come and feast, and celebrate, and commune with You. I need to be strengthen, fortified, supported, and protected by You. I need to conquer strongholds of the enemy, through You. I need to set up your House of Worship again, in my life, in my family and in my home. I need victory over the plans and threats of the enemy. Please cast down the blind and lame– in the spirit realm, and glorify Your Name.
Thank You for Zion.
Thank You for the Blood of the new covenant,
for writing our names in heaven,
for giving us an unshakable Kingdom and hope.
You are God, You alone.
You will be glorified in all my trials.
You will make me a city upon a hill, a light to the world.
For YOUR GLORY.
For YOUR NAME, Jesus.
For YOUR PLEASURE.
Because You said so.