God’s Great City
(1) Great is the LORD, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, his holy mountain. (2) It is beautiful in its loftiness, the joy of the whole earth. Like the utmost heights of Zaphon is Mount Zion, the city of the Great King. (3) God is in her citadels; he has shown himself to be her fortress. Psalm 48:1-3
God had a city of which He was very proud. It was in this city He built His house and His government for His elect. It was here that sacrifices were made and the Law was kept. It was here, in this very busy place, where His elect, scattered all over the world, would return to remember their past and look forward to their future.
The great City of God sat upon the Holy Mountain, Zion. It was here, on this mountain where Abraham was called to offer Isaac, but God stayed his hand. It was here, on this holy hill, where men and women were called to walk uprightly, be truthful, honest and live righteous lives. It was from this holy hill that men and women were called to be reflections of His Image as they scattered about in the world. It was here, on this hill, where the Savior of the world would be offered in sacrifice for the sins of the world.
This city was the heart of the Jewish world, and there was no mistake about it. It stood for something of God. It stood for something Holy. It stood for something busy with the things of God. It was an awesome place.
The great City of Zion did not change hands, but it changed people. The Jewish nation, as a whole, rejected the Messiah and God rejected them. In A.D. 70, God allowed the Romans to take her to her knees, but only because He has a new people.
(22) But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, (23) to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, (24) to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. Hebrews 12:22-24
Today, it is the church, the firstborn of God, who is the elect of God. We have the same purpose as His elect of the past and are, as they were, called to be lights in the world, reflecting His Image as we move about, scattered across the earth.
In days of old, the question was asked and answered, “Who Is It That Shall Dwell In Your Holy Hill?” Pouring forth from the Psalms, the answer rang out.
(1) LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? (2) He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart (3) and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman, (4) who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the LORD, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, (5) who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken. Psalm 15:1-5