Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When God restores His captive people, let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad (Ps.53:6).
Mount Zion is a hill in Jerusalem, just outside the walls of the city. While it was significant in the Old Testament and especially in King David’s time as the high point of Jerusalem, the term “Mount Zion” has a different meaning for Christians today. The writer to the Hebrews tells us that “…you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels…” (Heb.12:22).
Why is this?
Jesus made a very disturbing declaration to the Jews, before they crucified Him. He said that “…the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it” (Mat.21:43). Thus we can safely say that the church has received the kingdom of God.
For the church, the geography of Mount Zion is insignificant, but its symbolism is still very relevant. Now, the Church has become the centre-point of God’s purpose, and the promises in the Old Testament relating to Mount Zion and Israel, now apply to the Church. Paul writes in Ephesians that “…the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places” (Eph.3:10), and that the church is “…the pillar and support of the truth” (I Tim.3:15).
What has this got to do with conservatism? A lot.
Unless the church is accurately promoting Biblical truth, there is really little hope for the world. If the people of Mount Zion (the church) are rebellious, wayward, deceived or asleep, the truth will not be effectively communicated to the world.
This should deepen our resolve to get off our backside and get busy communicating the truth of God, firstly within and to the church. That way, the church can learn how to be more obedient to God, and how to teach sinners the ways of God.
The Old Testament promises to Israel were extremely important, and have been appropriated by the church. But what have we done with them? Have we taken them seriously? I don’t think so.
Through Isaiah in 700 BC, God said that
…many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us His ways, and that we may walk in His paths.’ For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Isa.2:3).
Later through the prophet Zechariah, God said “…many peoples and mighty nations will come and seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favour of the Lord” (Zech.8:22).
There is nothing outside the realm of God’s kingdom. Thus there is nothing about which that we can safely say, “Oh, we don’t need to be bothered about that.” The Bible never teaches a sacred/secular dichotomy. That’s why I’ve been trying to communicate that economics, welfare, education, law, government, the conduct of foreign affairs and every other human activity are aspects that God wants to redeem and change, for His glory.
This requires our obedience, first. We in the church can’t expect the people and nations of the world to give up foolish ideas and practices, if we haven’t rejected them, beforehand. Otherwise, we’re promoting hypocrisy.
Now is the time for a legitimate indoctrination to occur. The people of God (the church), getting immersed in the scriptures and learning how to live them out in real life. That way, we will have the ability to say to the international community, “This is how you do it.”