Psalm 87:  Zion Not Babylon

And of Zion it will be said, “This one and that one were born in her; And the Most High Himself shall establish her.” The Lord will record, When He registers the peoples: “This one was born there.” Psalm 87:5, 6

The Joy and Privileges of Dwelling in Zion

 

Psalm 87, a psalm of Zion, affirms God’s love for Jerusalem.  One day the nations will honor the Lord and Zion will be praised.

87:1 His foundation:  God Himself established Zion or Jerusalem as the center of true worship.  He ordained Solomon to build a temple there so that He could live among the Israelites.  Zion is holy because of God’s declaration, His promise, the worship given Him there, the future work of the Savior there (Matt. 21:4-11), and the future rule of the King there (Rev. 21).

1  A Psalm of the sons of Korah. A Song. His foundation is in the holy mountains.

87:2, 3 God has a special love for the place wehre His name is worshiped.  The gates of Zion are the conspicuous entrance to the city.  The verb loves includes the idea of choice (see Deut. 6:5) as well as emotion.  God chose Jerusalem, and He also has an enduring affection for the city.  City of God may also be translated “city of the True God.”

2  The Lord loves the gates of Zion More than all the dwellings of Jacob.  3  Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God! Selah

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5

87:4 I will make mention:  In this verse, God Himself speaks.  Rahab is a symbolic name for Egypt (Is. 30:7) that has negative connotations.  It alludes to the arrogance of the Egyptians.  This is not the Rahab of Josh. 2:3-11, whose name is spelled differently in Hebrew.  Babylon was a proverbial seat of apostasy and idolatry (Gen. 10:10).  To those who know Me may be rephrased “as those who know Me.”  Thus  the verse anticipates a time when foreigners would know and worship the living God.  Among those who came to zion to worship the Lord were people from Egypt, Babylon, Philistia, Tyre, and Ethiopia.  At the time of the writing of this psalm, perhaps in the later period of Hezekiah’s reign, foreigners were worshiping God in the temple with Jews.

4  “I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to those who know Me; Behold, O Philistia and Tyre, with Ethiopia: ‘This one was born there.’

87:5 And of Zion:  Despite their foreign heritage, the people who worshiped God were considered as having been born in Zion.  Thus this psalm anticipates the NT teaching of the second birth (John 3).  The title Most High is used particularly with reference to God’s power over the nations.  Shall establish her:  Zion would become the place where more and more people from other nations would come to worship the living God.  This is prophetic of the coming of the gospel of Jesus, the spread of that gospel, and the culmination of the gospel in the rule of the Savior King (Is. 2:1-4).

5  And of Zion it will be said, “This one and that one were born in her; And the Most High Himself shall establish her.”

87:6  The Lord will record pictures God making a register of the people of the nations.  All believers will find their true identity in the Lord, to know they will offer their worship in Zion.

6  The Lord will record, When He registers the peoples: “This one was born there.”

87:7 The singers and the players are called to celebrate together the joy of the Savior God.  The image of springs indicates salvation, which is found only in the Lord (Is. 12:3).  This anticipated the salvation that God would offer through Jesus Christ (Titus 2:11).

7  Both the singers and the players on instruments say, “All my springs are in you.”

Therefore with joy you will draw water From the wells of salvation.  Isaiah 12:3

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, Titus 2:11

 

** My true identity is that of a citizen of Zion.  I should avoid becoming a citizen of Babylon at all cost.  Zion Not Babylon.  Nothing else matters. There, I’ll say, “All my springs are in you.”  The Lord will say “This one was born here.”


87 1  A Psalm of the sons of Korah. A Song. His foundation is in the holy mountains. 2  The Lord loves the gates of Zion More than all the dwellings of Jacob. 3  Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God! Selah 4  “I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to those who know Me; Behold, O Philistia and Tyre, with Ethiopia: ‘This one was born there.’ ” 5  And of Zion it will be said, “This one and that one were born in her; And the Most High Himself shall establish her.” 6  The Lord will record, When He registers the peoples: “This one was born there.” Selah 7  Both the singers and the players on instruments say, “All my springs are in you.”

 


Truth (Heb. ‘emet)

This Hebrew term signifies truth that confirms to a standard – either to created reality or to God’s standards, Truth is often associated with mercy, especially God’s mercy.  This word is also frequently used in the context of legal language:  In secular contexts, it is used in speaking of witnesses and judgements, while in religious contexts, it is used in reference to the law and commandments of God.  Truth is precious, and its absence was lamented by the Prophets.  God desires truth in the inward parts of His people; thus it is the basis of a life style that pleases Him.