Saviors will go up to Mount Zion

to rule Mount Esau,

and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.

Obadiah 21

 

This is the culminating verse from a short visionary book in the Old Testament. It tells of a future time when the world will be totally set free from the death grip of sin. The prophet speaks of the reign of Christ over God’s New Creation. In all of this there is a hopeful promise that people who are following Christ in this world during these times can hold up as a form of beacon that leads us forward. In a way we are like the Israelite children of the exodus. We don’t know the details of today, and we are traveling into the darkness of an uncertain tomorrow. Yet, we have the glory of God going before us, and we can place all of our trust in Christ and in following His calling.

 

In this sense we also enter into Obadiah’s vision. He sees the people of God turning fully to their Lord. He also envisions a time in which God’s people would reject all forms of worldliness and would purposefully set their feet firmly upon the holy ground of God’s true witness, the Lord’s Zion. It is from this basis of righteousness that God’s word of redemption is then spoken clearly and effectively throughout the entire world. In Christ the world finds salvation, and His followers provide the voices that proclaim His gospel of grace, love, and redemption.

 

Although Obadiah was speaking of a time that is still ahead of us in a future chapter in God’s on-going story of restorative relationship with the world, we can enter into an important part of His narrative today. Christ desires for His people to be the saviors who turn to Zion as our true home. This is not the literal hill in Israel; rather, our Zion is found in the place where we are as we renounce the world’s hold upon our hearts and our minds and accept God’s righteous truth and love as our identity. Christ’s Zion is not a place of refuge and escape. Instead, He leads us from there and into the midst of our society and its culture. We are here to bring God’s peace and mercy to souls who are lost. We do this by offering a cup of cool water, by walking the harsh miles with people who are in pain, and by sharing with them the source of the peace that fills our souls with God’s grace.

 

 

How blessed are all who take refuge in the Lord.

Psalm 2: 12b

 

There are many places that we can go when this world starts treating us in a rough manner. Many of them will provide relief from the stress and pressure while others promise to help us find a new path to success. However, there are other escapes that do inevitably lead us deeper into the darkness of this world’s chaos and cause us to lose even more of our God-likeness. Some of the ways of escape are packaged in soothing words, others with attractive covers, and some come with exotic looking labels and advertising that suggests the new identity that can be found inside. However, if the Lord is not at the center of the place of refuge, then, there will be no real and lasting escape found there.

 

The forces of this world will always find their way back into our lives, and the only one who can absolutely stand up to them is God, Himself. So, why do I stubbornly continue to go to others and try other means of escape when my life heads in a hard direction? I think that there is an element of self-centered desire to stay in control; yet, that sort of control is false. The Lord alone is actually in control of the universe. There is also an element of fear or concern that God will behave like people have, and He will either reject me or think less of me because I can’t handle my little issues on my own. Yet, rational thought leads me to the fact that God has always proven to me and to all people who choose to let Him that He is the perfect, loving, and gracious Father.

 

When I turn to God and trust my life to Him, He opens up His treasure chest of wisdom, courage, and strength to me. I am allowed full access to everything that the Creator of all has to offer. While I am searching for the answers that I need and trying to find my path through the day, my heart, mind, and body are being sheltered under the protection of God’s warm embrace, and while I am resting in my Lord’s presence, my heart is filled with His blessings.