“Ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, and
give Him no rest, till He establish, and till He make
Jerusalem a praise in the earth” (Isaiah 62:6, 7).
There is a distinct need to remind ourselves of this admonition. It used to be a characteristic feature of meetings, and particularly of public prayers, that Zion was constantly brought into remembrance and her speedy restoration to Divine favour entreated. Well do we recall the impression made upon us in our early experiences in the Truth, when the lecturing brother quoted with rare eloquence and conviction those words of the Spirit of God through Isaiah:
“Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee on the palms of my hands: thy walls are continually before me” (Isaiah 49:15).
Then the presiding brother in his prayer repeated those moving words from the 137th Psalm: “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning”.
In those days the remembrance of Zion seemed woven into the fabric of our worship. The words of the Spirit above leave us in no manner of doubt regarding the true attitude of the children of God on this subject. “Ye that make mention of the Lord”.
Do we make mention of the Lord? Undoubtedly; it should be one of our most distinct characteristics in both public and private life. To us then is this command specially applicable: “Keep not silence, and give Him no rest till He make Jerusalem a praise in the earth”. If we heed this Divine admonition our worship will not be marked by silence in the matter of entreating God for the speedy dawn of Zion’s glad morning.
This attitude is not merely a matter of sentiment, but springs from sound reason and a correct understanding of the purpose of God in relation to the earth. Zion is the focal point of God’s dealings with the human race; He has declared in no uncertain voice that Zion alone is the city of His choice.
“For the Lord hath chosen Zion; He hath desired it for His habitation. This is my rest for ever; here will I dwell; for I have desired it” (Ps. 132:13).
It is pre-eminently the city of our God; the mountain of His holiness; the mount Zion which He loved.
Jesus forbade his disciples to swear by Jerusalem, giving the all-sufficient reason that “it is the city of the Great King”. His throne will be established there; from Zion will go forth the law which will govern the nations when His glorious Kingdom will be set up. And the name of the city in that day shall be Jehovah-Shammah; The Lord is there.
Until Jerusalem becomes a praise in the earth, no Kingdom of God can be established. Zion, redeemed and triumphant, is the very core of the Divine purpose. Well then may they who truly seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness say with the Psalmist: “Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When the Lord shall build up Zion, He shall appear in glory”.
If we are in danger of neglecting the Divine injunction to “Let Jerusalem come into your mind”, let us return to the old paths and pray for the peace of Jerusalem; yes, pray for it; not merely sing about it. Let our presiding brethren, upon whom the responsibility of directing our ecclesial worship rests, make themselves in truth and reality “The Lord’s remembrancers” (see Isaiah 62:6, marginal reading), and determine that through their prayers Zion shall indeed come into remembrance.
“For there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore”.
(Adapted: Bro F. Turner 1940)