We're Marching to Zion

One song that we sing from time to time is titled, "We're Marching to Zion." It is number two in our song books. In Paul's letter to the Colossians, he wrote of "...teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs..." (Col. 3:16). With that in mind, perhaps a consideration of this song will be helpful to us.

It begins with the words, "Come we that love the Lord, And let our joys be known." This reminds us that we do come together as a collective body in Christ. We are to be unified in singing praises to God and teaching one another. Concerning our love of the Lord, this recalls various instructions from Christ. For instance there are the words, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15) A few verses later it then states, "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." (John 14:21)

The song refers to joy multiple times, especially of the children of the heavenly king speaking their joys abroad. Acts 15 reminds us of Paul and Barnabas declaring the conversion of the Gentiles (Acts 15:3). This declaration causes great joy unto all the brethren. Beyond the joy of a converted soul, there are other passages that speak of joy in the New Testament. In Romans 14:17 we learn that the kingdom of God is not only righteousness and peace but also joy in the Holy Ghost. In the chapter following the apostle desires that the Christians in Rome be filled with all joy and peace in believing (Rom. 15:13).

Returning to our song, who is associated with the joy? It is with those who love the Lord and are children of the heavenly king, right? We should encourage us to be even happier as reflect on our prior state before being His children. We were once children of disobedience and wrath, (Eph. 2:2-3) but are now children of light and of the day (1 Thes. 5:5). Paul wasn't the only apostle to make that kind of distinction. If we turn to 1 John 3 we will see the apostle John describing a contrast between those who do righteousness and those who do not. The former are spoken of as children of God while the latter are described as children of the devil.

Because we are children of God we should have great joy and be able to share it with the world. At the very least we can show our appreciation to God for the blessings we enjoy both now and in the future to them. One portion of the song directs our minds to such things with the words, "The hill of Zion yields a thousand sacred sweets, Before we reach the heav'nly fields, Before we reach the heav'nly fields,..." Although the Bible does not describe any sacred sweets, the notion of fields yielding fruit is found within its pages. Regarding blessings, we can read of them being on the head of the just and that a faithful man shall abound with them. (Prov. 10:6, 28:20)

As good as the blessings we enjoy here are, the greatest are those that are awaiting us after this life is over. The song not only refers to the heavenly fields, but also walking the golden streets. The book of Revelation provides a few marvelous details concerning our future heavenly abode. At one place it says, "And the building of the wall of it was [of] jasper: and the city [was] pure gold, like unto clear glass." (Rev. 21:18) Later we read of the street itself, "And the twelve gates [were] twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city [was] pure gold, as it were transparent glass. (Rev. 21:21)

As the song comes to a close, the motif of marching returns with the words, "We're marching thru Immanuel's ground." This helps reinforce the idea of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. As Matthew 1:23 explains, the word Immanuel is to be interpreted as "God with us." This is a great encouragement to us today, for God is with us as children of Him, and as brothers and sisters of Jesus.

Let's continue to strive to march to Zion. It will truly be a beautiful place beyond compare. By doing so we will be marching upward and not focusing on the things of this world. There will be no pain, suffering, and all our tears will be wiped from our eyes when we arrive at our heavenly abode to be with God forever.