As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God, which God will establish forever. (Psalms 48:8 ESV)
Places evoke a variety of feelings for people. Some are mesmerised by the speed, noise and activity of cities like London and New York. Some are captured by the physical beauty and yet evident great poverty in cities around the world.
Indeed quite a number of glamorous and glorious cities have that mix of the awe inspiring and gut wrenching. Such a mix and range rightly gets people waxing lyrical of the virtues and vices. As yet no city can ever claim to display pure beauty physically and socially. Reflecting the common human condition, despite great works of splendour it is mired and marred with all that makes us miss out on the fullness of humanity.
This makes Zion all the more remarkable as a city where beauty is on display throughout because this is the city of God. Such is its greatness that all opposition is vanquished just by looking to come up against it.
The picture painted in this Psalm is about more than a geographical location, it is a reflection of the beauty of where the rule of God is pronounced and those who dwell with Him enjoy the benefits of what it is to be in His presence. There is something to aspire to not just in wanting to get to a place with the strongest fortress imaginable. It is an ongoing relational location where the desire is to be where He is and see likewise His delight in being where we are.
No wonder this in itself is cause for pause.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden