If someone were to ask you which country or city was the ‘centre’ of the world, a number of places might spring to mind.
As centres of literary and cultural influence, we might consider Europe and the United States. For centres of the continuity of traditional cultures, we might think of India, Africa and Latin America. As centres of manufacturing and economic power, we might consider China and the Orient.
But which is the centre of the world in God’s plans?
We can easily track this by following the places where God interacted most directly with people throughout the epic story of Israel as told in the Bible.
Earthly replicas of God’s sanctuary
When God first created man, he brought man (and consequently woman) into the Garden of Eden as his earthly dwelling place, walking with Adam in the garden and providing for Adam and Eve’s need for food and safety.
As a result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God, they were expelled from this earthly ‘centre’ of intimacy and safety, and man wandered in the wilderness – separated from God’s presence – until God revealed himself to Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and eventually the redeemed community of Israel.
Once He had lead Israel out of their slavery in Egypt, God established another dwelling place – the Tabernacle – as a moving spiritual ‘centre’ of intimacy with the Creator as they journeyed with Him in the wilderness toward the place he had established as a permanent centre of rest, provision, safety and intimacy: the land of Canaan.
In the wilderness, God gave the Israelites strict instructions that once they entered the Promised Land, they were no longer to sacrifice to him in any place of their choosing – they were to go to the place He established: Jerusalem.
This is where the first and second temples were built, and this was where the Israelites were to assemble three times a year (Passover, Pentecost and the Feast of Tabernacles) to appear before the Creator and bring him their offerings.
To sacrifice or make an offering in any other place was deemed to be an ‘abomination’, and would not be accepted by God.
Mt Zion – Jerusalem – had an important role to play in God’s overall plan.
The spiritual centre of the world: Jerusalem
After the Messiah’s resurrection and ascent to the Father, there would be a long period in which true believers would worship YHWH (God) in ‘spirit and truth’ neither on one mountain or another – as living temples of the Holy Spirit (see John chapter 4).
However, when Messiah returns, Mt Zion (Jerusalem) will once again be the centre of the world. There, he will rule with an iron rod, and the Torah (God’s Instructions) will go out from there to the whole world, where the nations will be required to bow the knee before him and obey his word.
Leading up to this time, there are (and will be) critical events taking place in the Middle East to prepare the way for the battle of Armageddon and Messiah’s complete conquest of the Promised Land. No wonder things are a little ‘unsettled’ around there at the moment!
So, if you want to know what time it is on God’s clock, just watch what is happening in Jerusalem. Because for God, Mt Zion is the centre of the world.
Rosanne Menacho is an Australian currently living in Peru with her husband to spend time living with his family. She works as a writer, and her website and books can be found at www.rosannemenachowriter.com. In her spare time, Rosanne enjoys playing music, dancing, translating and drinking herbal tea. Her heart is to worship and represent the Creator in spirit and in truth, and to see the arrival of the Messianic kingdom on Earth.
Rosanne Menacho’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/rosanne-menacho.html