Question:

Can you comment on Zion, Zion, I long thy gates to see. Some say it is not scriptural because Zion is the church in every sense, and never heaven, as it seems in the song.

Thanks for your consideration. I wish to be accurate when I sing a song, but I love this song!


Answer:

There Is a Habitation

by Love H. Jameson

There is a habitation,
Built by the living God,
For all of every nation,
Who seek that grand abode.

A city with foundations
Firm as th'eternal throne;
Nor wars, nor desolation
Shall ever move a stone.

No night is there, no sorrow,
No death and no decay;
No yesterday, no morrowó
But one eternal day.

Within its pearly portals
Angelic armies sing,
With glorified immortals,
The praises of its King.

Refrain:
O Zion, Zion,
I long thy gates to see;
O Zion, Zion,
When shall I dwell in thee?

Zion is one of the names for the mountain upon which Jerusalem was built. "Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion on the sides of the north, the city of the great King" (Psalms 48:2). To speak of Zion is to speak of Jerusalem. "And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the remnant whom the LORD calls" (Joel 2:32). Thus the prophecy that salvation would come from Mount Zion, "And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob" (Romans 11:26).

Where Jerusalem was a physical place in the Old Testament, in the New Testament the new Jerusalem represents God's redeemed people: "But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel" (Hebrews 12:22-24). In prophetic language that heavenly Jerusalem still is seen as sitting on a mountain: "And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God" (Revelation 21:10).

The desire for out heavenly home, as expressed in the song, is stated in: "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Philippians 3:20).