I. THREE HILLS IN JERUSALEM
After David was crowned King of all Israel he purposed to bring the Ark of the covenant back to Jerusalem. Now the Ark’s re-entry into Jerusalem is marked with a strange perplexity. It was not returned to the Levites’ Tabernacle according to the commandment of Moses on Mount Moriah.
Interestingly, Jerusalem is geographically marked with three mountains. The first is the lowest called Mount Ophel. David built his palace on this broad based hill and the masses lived on its gentle slopes. It speaks of a common order of dwelling. We all share the same sinful nature. Even the kings among us will someday die as a result of sin.
The second highest peak was called Mount Moriah where the Tabernacle of Moses was set up. It was here that Abraham was instructed to offer up his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice. Though prevented by God himself, the like figure speaks to us of the sacrifice of God’s Son, Jesus. All of Jerusalem came to Moriah’s tabernacle to receive the forgiveness of sins and peace with God by the sacrifice of animals. So too, our acceptance of Christ’s shed blood on Calvary, the sacrificial Lamb of God, cleanses us from sin and brings us into fellowship with Him. But as glorious as this tabernacle was, it only provided the promise that the curse of death would be broken. It did not provide the reality of an endless life in the here and now. Our acceptance of Christ as Savior, like Moriah, affords us the forgiveness of sin and the promise of eternal life. But the promise is by faith, as yet unseen.
And so it was that David took the Ark to the highest mountain in Jerusalem, Mount Zion. From this pinnacle the glory of the Lord could be seen for miles around. The ministry of Mount Moriah was surpassed by a higher order, a greater covenant. The promise of an endless life had been given in covenant with one who predated Moses and his ancestor Abraham. David took the Ark to Mount Zion to re-establish the order of Melchizedek, the royal priest who walked in the power of an endless life (Ps. 110:14).
Now consider this man Melchizedek. Abraham met him returning from battle and gave tithe unto him (Gen. 14:18). He was without father, without mother, having neither beginning of day nor end of life (Heb. 7:3). His walk with God had ushered him into timelessness. He was called the King of Salem (Heb. 7:2). Salem means peace, hence he was the “King of Peace.” His successor would therefore be called the “Prince of Peace” over Jeru-Salem, the City of Peace. But Melchizedek was much more than a king. He is also called “Priest of the Most High God.” No one before him had been king and priest. The Levitical order of Moses and Abraham established on Mount Moriah produced no one who was both king and priest. Kings were kings and priests were priests. How could anyone govern people and yet truly minister to the Lord. Not only minister to Him but be a high priest. That means God’s closest confidant and friend is also established as king over God’s people. The most renown men of all history have laid claim to this; the Pharaohs of Egypt, the Caesars of Rome, Emperors of China and Japan. Even individuals like Nebuchadnezzar, Napoleon or Khomeni claimed to be God’s man of power for the hour. But they have all faded away with time, thus proving their claim counterfeit. No one could be both unless they were sinless and immortal. By setting the Ark to rest on Mount Zion, David has once and for all enthroned the Lord Himself as both King and Priest over His people, after the order of Melchizedek.
III. A LIGHT IN ZION
The indescribable glory of the Lord was evidenced by all the nations on Earth in Mount Zion. David describes this blessed event in a multitude of Psalms. A few are listed below.
“Great is the Lord… in the mountains of His holiness… The joy of the whole earth is Mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great king. God is known in her palaces as a refuge… The kings were assembled, they passed by together… They saw it and so they marveled… They were troubled and hasted away” (Ps. 48: 1-5).
“Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shinned” (Ps. 50:2).
“In Salem also is his tabernacle and his dwelling place in Zion… thou art more glorious than the mountains” (Ps. 76:2 & 4).
“The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion; rule thou in the midst of thine enemies… Thou art forever after the order of Melchizedek” (Ps. 110:2 & 4).
“The Lord hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen” (Ps. 98:2).
“The Lord reigneth… he sitteth between the cherubim… the Lord is great in Zion” (Ps. 99:1 & 2).
“When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in glory” (Ps. 102:16).
“O Lord thou art great… who coverest thyself with Light as with a garment” (Ps. 104:1 & 2).
“The Lord reigneth… a fire goeth before Him and burneth up His enemies round about. His lightning enlighteneth the world, the earth saw and trembled… all the people see His glory. Zion heard and was glad… Light is sown for righteousness” (Ps. 97).
These and ALL 150 Psalms were written for and sung to the Lord God Jehovah as He ruled out of Zion. The glory the Lord shinned out of Zion all 33 years David was king of Israel. Likewise, Jesus was the expressed glory of God on earth for 33 years. As David re-established the king-priest ministry, so too is Christ the King of Kings and a High Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek (Heb. 5:5 & 6).
IV. THE GLORY OF THE LORD AND THE POWER OF AN ENDLESS LIFE HAS RETURNED
“But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the City of the Living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and Church of the Firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel” (Heb.12:22-24). Why Abel? Because His blood cried from the ground after he was murdered (Gen.4:10). But because of the work of Jesus Christ in his death, burial and resurrection, we too can walk in Resurrection Life in the here and now, a far greater inheritance that was revealed in the story of Abel… “That they without us should not be made perfect” (Heb.11:40).
Be blessed in Jesus name,
Bro Jerry Turk