Monday, January 8, 2017
Psalm 125:1-2 Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever. 2As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people, from this time forth and forevermore.
Recently I stood on the Mount of Olives overlooking the city of Jerusalem. I was impressed that the city was built in a strategic location that offered great protection from invading enemy forces. Steep cliffs and deep valleys surround the city on three sides. God’s temple was built on the top of a hill within the city walls, and was called Mount Zion. Even though the city was attacked on several occasions and the temple destroyed, the mount on which it sat remained. The enemy could attack and destroy what was built on the rock, but they could never move the rock.
King David uses Mount Zion as an illustration of our security when we trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Rock of our salvation. The enemy may attack what we have built on the Rock, but the Rock can never be moved. We can never be shaken. The Rock endures forever. He has us surrounded like the mountains surrounded Jerusalem, and we are secure.
However, just as the enemies of Israel were successful at times in destroying the city, so we too must be aware of the potential for our Enemy to destroy what we have built. Satan’s attacks on us can be destructive, if, like Israel, we allow the scepter of the wicked to remain over us (verse 3).
Israel allowed sin to become a part of their everyday life. They adopted the world’s activities as their own to satisfy the needs of their flesh. They worshipped idols and the false gods of their neighbors in an attempt to keep peace with them. They compromised God’s law for the sake of social security and lost the blessing of God’s fellowship. God removed His blessing from their lives, and the enemy overtook them.
The same will happen to us when we allow sin to reign over us in any part of our lives. When the desires for social acceptance and personal gratification dictate our choices, we have opened the gates of our lives to the enemy, and he will devour us as a roaring lion. No matter how strong we think we are, and no matter how much good we have done in the past, if we are standing only in our human strength and not in God, we will fall.
Take Oscar Schindler as an example. Do you remember Schindler’s List and the amazing story of the German who used his wealth and wiles to rescue 1,200 Polish Jews? What a noble effort that was. I was astonished to read in U.S. News & World Report what happened to Oscar Schindler after the war. This man who had been so brave, so noble, abandoned his wife when the war was over. He became a womanizer and a drunkard, and lived out his life in destitution and dependence on others. So far did he fall that he took that gold ring that was fashioned for him out of gold harvested from the teeth of the people he rescued, and he pawned it for a bottle of schnapps.
Such would be the result for any of us who turn to trust in self rather than trust in the LORD. Only Mount Zion can never be shaken. Only lives that are built on the Rock of Jesus Christ will endure forever.
There is a magnificent passage of Scripture in Hebrews that talks about Mount Zion. It speaks of the mountain the Israelites came to where Moses was called up to meet God and receive the Ten Commandments. Read it carefully, and let the Holy Spirit move you to praise what Jesus has done to build our lives on the true Mount Zion.
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, because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.” The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.” 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, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. (Hebrews 12:18-23)
When you come to Jesus and build your life on the Rock, your life cannot be shaken away from Him. There is to be no more fear of breaking the law. No fear of judgment. We have been forgiven, and our names have been written down in heaven for all eternity. Rejoice! You are a child of the King, and God has you surrounded. You are secure forever.