Imagine our greatest adversaries saying of us, “The LORD has done great things for them.” In the acknowledgement that indeed they’d been proved right in their faith, the Israelites rejoiced that their dreams had finally been realised--they returned from captivity.
And so it is for us when we’ve broken from the captivity of the binding of this world, when we finally commence the life we’d always wanted to lead. This can be release from a habit, a job, a harrowing situation, even from grief.
For an entire nation, the Remnant that was carried off to exile, to have lived in an initially strange land for some seventy years, it must have been a difficult choice to leave all behind to ‘go home,’ and be part of rebuilding the Temple and the holy city of Jerusalem, Zion.
Those who sowed in tears eventually reaped with shouts of joy (v. 5) as they realised materially what had been sacrificed in advance spiritually. These people risked security for purpose because they knew they were nothing without their God.
They left something good to pursue something better. They knew that there’s no safer place to be than smack bang in the centre of God’s will. They knew that to stay would be to stray from his will--the worst possible thought.
And we too have our dreams, but the irony is the life we enjoy today often cushions and stifles the real dreams God has for us. We almost have to go beyond the obvious, easy thing to embrace the better thing.
To be in the will of God is not easier by any stretch, and tears there are in abundance along that pilgrimage, but it is better by far to go and not come back.
We leave the captive Babylon (the comfy Western creature comforts) to seek the Zion of our heart’s desire, in God. He takes us there, delivers us for free, and sets our feet on the rock of the mightiest future any human being could either conceive or undertake.
Our dreams are manifest in reality and our hearts are filled with giggly laughter. Without God, however, the picture of life becomes undeniably opaque.
To go and not come back is to live a free life where the currency is love and wisdom, truth and grace. This place is the territory of the heart, the landscape of the Creator. This place is heaven, Zion.
Acknowledgement to the Sons of Korah who inspired this piece: http://www.sonsofkorah.com/.