March 24, 2008 Ration

Psalm 48:12-14

“Walk about Zion, go around her, number her towers, consider well her ramparts, go through her citadels, that you may tell the next generation that this is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever.”

When you have considered the majesty of Mount Zion, the city of the great King, you will begin to understand and enjoy the great majesty of Zion’s King! The Sons of Korah have written Psalm 48 as both a proclamation of what they have known and enjoyed of Zion, and as an exhortation for the generations to come to do their own field study of this city of God!

Artists, look at how much energy must be spent researching Mount Zion before an accurate assessment can be determined, and a masterly image be made. The Sons say: walk about, go around, number, consider well, go through. There is much delving to be done if Zion is going to be truly known! How can anyone fully enjoy and describe that which they have not handled themselves? A fallible accounting of Zion will yield a faulty portrait of God, the King of Zion!

Speaking now in artistic, cultural generalities, might the reason that our stories, our songs, our paintings, our films, and our dances of God suffer so much be that we, as the artists, have not spent the necessary time walking about, going around, numbering, considering well, and going through every turn and fork in Mount Zion? We spend great efforts on our artistic disciplines, so why not on our thematic content?

We seem to have yet handled and be overwhelmed by the weight, the might, the shelter, and the authority of God in His Zion! The breadth and accuracy of our artistry will evidence the depth of our mining of Zion. And sadly, this artistic generation, in general, is not very broad or deep. Our artistic expressions tend to come more from our dreamy fantasies than from any factual, front line engagement.

The Sons of Korah report that when the kings assembled to come upon Zion together, as soon as they saw it they were astounded, they panicked, they took flight, they trembled, they were in anguish. And they just saw Mount Zion from the outside (v. 4-6)! What glorious might of God did these kings see that would reduce them to children and make them flee? What false confidence did they hear in the first placed that stirred them to come out against such a fortress? They must have heard our little pansy rhymes referencing God now and then as a figure who can be shaped the way we want to be loved and thought, “we can ride against the city of this ‘God of love.’”

Their information was full of pride and error. They should have sent a scout to walk about Zion’s foundations rather than listen to the dreamy artists tickle their pride. The scout would have penned the more skillful rhyme.

Repent while you can!
Like grass is the man
Who stands before Zion
And smells not its Lion.

But enter, you ought!
Though humbly, as boys.
For yet have you sought
Such ineffable joys!

Artists, consider long and hard the towers, ramparts, and citadels of Zion – the city of God! Fear, enter, and enjoy its King! And then, in your joy, artistically articulate your pleasures in God, the King of Zion, to the next generation. And like the Sons of Korah, exhort them to consider doing the same.

Jason Harms


© 2008 The Gaius Project