The love the Lord has for the city of Zion is clear throughout the Bible, but because of Jesus Christ, Zion is no longer just a place where a genetically-liked people group reside. “Zion” is no longer a physical location, but a spiritual one. The people of God, those who have received redemption through the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross, are now the “Zion” where the Lord dwells! From the descriptions of Zion given in the Bible, it’s abundantly clear that God’s original intention for His people was for communion, fellowship, relationship, celebration, freedom, worship and joy. However, because of a sinful and fallen world, God’s people, Zion, have experienced every hardship a life of sin has to offer.
You were never meant to mourn. God did not create you to experience grief. He created you to worship Him.
Lamentations 1:4 notes the pain of sin’s ravages saying, “The roads to Zion mourn, for none come to the festival; all her gates are desolate; her priests groan; her virgins have been afflicted, and she herself suffers bitterly.” In Psalm 137, the Psalmist wrote, “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down and wept when we remembered Zion. We hung our harps upon the poplars. For there our captors made us sing and our tormentors made us entertain, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion.‘” The Lord created His people to be filled with His joy and shining with His glory. But… sometimes bad choices – our own or those of others – lead us into a season of captivity, where we are left vulnerable to grieve over what has been lost.
Thank God He is the Redeemer! Isaiah prophesied of Jesus Christ saying He would come, “to preserve those who mourn in Zion, to give to them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” In Joel 2, where he spoke of the coming gift of the baptism of the Holy Spirit (the events that later occurred on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2), Joel noted that the Lord, “…will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.” Psalm 30:5 notes that yes, weeping does come, but the Lord will bring joy. That is a promise! That is why we worship!
Thought for today
Here’s the thing: You were never meant to mourn. God did not create you to experience grief. He created you to worship Him. He created you as a city, Zion, in which He would dwell with every benefit attached to His glorious presence. You were created to celebrate the goodness of God! That is why worship cannot depend on your circumstances or how you feel, but must instead come from a place where you are who God created you to be. You worship because you cannot not worship. You are compelled, even in your agony, to reach out with your hands stretched to heaven and minister to the Lord.