I praise You, God, that I am a member of Your family and a citizen of heaven. I glory in Your name.
Read Psalm 87
Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm. A song.
1 He has founded his city on the holy mountain.
2 The Lord loves the gates of Zion
more than all the other dwellings of Jacob.
3 Glorious things are said of you,
city of God:[a]
4 “I will record Rahab[b] and Babylon
among those who acknowledge me—
Philistia too, and Tyre, along with Cush[c]—
and will say, ‘This one was born in Zion.’”[d]
5 Indeed, of Zion it will be said,
“This one and that one were born in her,
and the Most High himself will establish her.”
6 The Lord will write in the register of the peoples:
“This one was born in Zion.”
7 As they make music they will sing,
“All my fountains are in you.”
a Psalm 87:3 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 6.
b Psalm 87:4 A poetic name for Egypt
c Psalm 87:4 That is, the upper Nile region
d Psalm 87:4 Or “I will record concerning those who acknowledge me: / ‘This one was born in Zion.’ / Hear this, Rahab and Babylon, / and you too, Philistia, Tyre and Cush.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat has God’s grace meant for you?
In his most famous hymn “Amazing Grace,” John Newton marveled at the grace of God, which reaches out to undeserving sinners. Another of his “Olney Hymns” takes its inspiration from the third verse of this psalm: “Glorious things of thee are spoken, Zion, city of our God.”
Mount Zion is the hill on which stood the citadel David captured and made his capital – it became a synonym for Jerusalem (2 Samuel 5:7; Psalm 126:1). This psalm celebrates Zion as the city where God lives with His people, but verses 4 to 7 hold a surprise: people from Egypt (Rahab), Babylon, Philistia, Tyre and Cush will be included as citizens of Zion. Each of these have, at some time, been enemies of Israel, but here the psalmist sees the time when even people from these places will become part of God’s people.
Isaiah also looked forward to the time when people from all nations would come to God’s holy mountain (Isaiah 2:1–4) and become citizens of Zion. “… in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:11–13).
Have you looked at others and judged them “too far gone” to be transformed by Christ? Take time now to allow God to search your heart and show you any distorted perspectives you may have.
Jesus, may I see those around me with Your eyes of compassion and mercy. I praise You that You accepted me into Your family.
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