Salvation out of Zion
When a person is in trouble, where do they look for help?
One person leans on his best friend. Another calls her doctor, or her mother. Others look to a spouse, a pastor, a life-coach.
The people of Israel also looked to different places. Sometimes they expected help from Egypt, from Babylon, or from one of their false gods. But the LORD always told his people where to look: to him alone!
In Psalm 53 David tells about a time when the wicked were attacking God’s people, eating them up “as they eat bread” (v. 4). It didn’t look good. But once again the LORD rescued his people and terrified their enemies, defeating them in battle.
Even though Israel has been saved, David ends with a prayer in verse 6 :
Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
It’s as if he knows that deliverance will be needed again, that this latest salvation will not be the last. For the enemies of God and his church will continue to deny the LORD and commit wicked deeds.
But salvation for Israel will come again—it will arise out of Zion. That’s where God’s people need to look!
When David speaks of Zion, he means God’s earthly dwelling-place in Jerusalem. The Almighty God is enthroned in heaven, but he was pleased to have a throne on earth, in his holy house at the temple.
Zion meant that God was always close to his people.
From Zion God sent his blessing, and from there he gave deliverance.
David’s prayer for salvation receives its greatest and final answer in the coming of Christ. This is how close God was: He came to this earth from heaven and dwelled among us. He was born as a humble man of flesh and blood, and walked this earth.
Jesus ministered in the land of Israel for three years, until he was killed outside Jerusalem’s walls. For a moment it looked like a shameful defeat for God, but this was his greatest triumph. For Jesus conquered all his and our enemies, and restored “the fortunes of his people” (v. 6).
Now we know beyond any doubt where our help comes from. Salvation comes from Zion, the holy presence of God! Today you can trust in him, the great Saviour.
You can call on him and not be disappointed, but in Christ you can always rejoice in your deliverance.