"An Eternal Mountain"
As we close our mountaintop series, we end with the great Mount Zion. Originally it was the city of David - Jerusalem. But Zion was more than a place; it represented God among the people, and Zion took on several meanings.
An Eternal Mountain
A. I understand fear. I have always been a timid individual. My very first time preaching in this church, when I came to try out in February, 17 years ago, I was ask to preach on 2 Tim. 1:7, “For God gave us a spirit NOT of fear, but of power and love and self-control.” That was a sermon to his almost 30 year-old kid. Fear has been a factor in much of my life and therefore guided too much of my life.
B. Many of you are familiar with the either books or the movie, “The Wizard of Oz.” I remember watching this movie as a child. It was absolutely the best movie I had seen at that point in my young life. I could feel so many emotions, but the character that I identified with was the lion. The lion wanted to so much to be the king of forest. He wanted to growl and scare, to intimidate and lead with power, but you see that problem he was a cowardly lion. He was a lion afraid of his own tail. Now I could identify with that. I wanted to be strong, to be a leader, to be someone that was not afraid, but the truth was I was not those things. I was a sacred little boy inside.
C. But today, as I continue to grow as child of God, fear no longer is what leads me. I still have my times of timidity, but I have learned to trust in God. I have learned to come to a new mountain, one that is filled with power because it is a holy mountain, God’s mountain, Mount Zion.
I. Psalm 48
A. The first mention of Zion takes place soon after David is anointed as king. David and his men set went to Jerusalem, against the Jebusites who held that mountain they called Zion. Joab made it made up through the water shaft and the Bible tells us that David took the stronghold of Zion and it was called “The city of David.”
B. I tell you that because Zion was and stay a stronghold, a fortress. But what changed from that day forward was that God was now in Zion and Zion became connected as God’s stronghold, the city of God.
B. So we come to our reading. Listen again to Ps. 48. You see, Jerusalem was safe not because of her great walls, her location on a mountain or ramparts. She was secure because God made Zion His. “Within her citadels God has made himself known as a fortress.”
C. As the Psalm continues we see that kings feared it and fled, but God’s steadfast love continued for his people. Listen to the close (Ps. 48:11-14). The enemies of God ran away, but the children of God ran to it. That is what we tell the next generation. Our God is forever and ever and he will guide us forever.
D. All of those years when I let fear lead me I was running away from God. I could never seem to trust him enough. I could never loose enough control to let God be in control. When it came time for a guide, I trusted in me and so often failed. I was that cowardly lion. Yet God allowed me to grow enough that I could walk about Zion and live in confidence, not fear.
II. An Eternal Mountain
A. For you see Zion is not just a mountain, it is not just a name that is connected to city of Jerusalem, Zion has been and continues to be the place where God dwells among his people.
B. Heb. 12:18-21. We have walked on this mountain just a few weeks ago. When we began our mountaintop journeys, we came to Ex. 19 and this holy mountain where Moses would be given the 10 Commandments. It was a scary moment as God descended in the cloud upon that mountain. But I want you to back to verse 18. “For you have NOT come to what may be touch.” Did you catch that? What the Hebrew writer was about to tell his people about a mountain was not a physical mountain. It was not a mountain of fear that we come before.
C. Heb. 12:22-24. We have come to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. We have come today to where God still makes his children secure. Where God still guides and where his name continues to be passed down from generation to generation. Mount Zion is an eternal mountain for it host to our eternal God.
D. If the daughters of Zion were once the people of Israel, then the daughters of Zion today is spiritual Israel, the church which Jesus established.
E. But this eternal mountain has another passage I want to close with, and why the song we are going to sing is great. Let me take you to Rev. 14:1-5.
A. Paul would tell Timothy that we have not been given a spirit of fear (or timidity), but of power, love and self-control. Why does a Christian live in fear? The only answer I can come to is that I have not walked enough in Zion and beheld the King.
B. On Zion’s glorious summit stood a numerous host redeemed by God that hymned their King in strains divine. I heard the song and strove to join. While I may not know all that John saw in that revelation, I do know the words that rang out in John’s vision, “Holy, Holy, Holy. God of host on high adored.”
C. Come on up to Mount Zion and be with the God who guides you. Come on up to Mount Zion and be with the church, the daughters of Zion who want to praise God with you. Come on up to Mount Zion and let your anthem ring. If we can surround you this day, then come as we stand and sing.