August 24 2023
Today, Thursday August 24
“This One Was Born There”
“His foundation is in the holy mountains. The LORD loves the gates of Zion More than all the dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God! Selah
"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.' " 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." Selah
Both the singers and the players on instruments say, "All my springs are in you."
Psalm 87 is about the City of Jerusalem. The Holy City of God! The more I read, study, and meditate on this Psalm, the more excited I get about it and the City of Jerusalem. Remember I said the yesterday that the first mention of Jerusalem in the Bible is in Genesis 14 when Abraham meets up with Melchizedek who was the king-priest of Salem which is Jerusalem, the “City of Peace”.
The second mention of Jerusalem is found in Genesis 22 where God tested Abraham and asks him, “…Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." (Genesis 22:2) We believe that Mount Moriah is the same place where later the city of Jerusalem would be built. It is interesting to note that in the first 14 verses of Genesis 22, the phrase “the place” is used no less than four times. This is the place where we are introduced to God as Jehovah-Jireh, which means, “The LORD Will Provide”, as it said to this day, “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided”. (Gen. 22:14). The Old King James Version uses the word “seen” instead of “provided”.
I would personally say that the most special “Place” in all the world is Mt. Moriah, which is in the center of the present-day city of Jerusalem! This is the “Place” where God provided His perfect sinless Lamb, His only Son Jesus Christ as the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world! Yes, it is in this “place” that we can see the Christ, the Lamb of God, the provision of God, the sacrifice that gives our eternal salvation!
The Holy City of God, Jerusalem was not only chosen and loved by God (vv. 1-2), it is also the City that is inhabited by His children (Psa. 87:4-6). In these verses the Lord is described as a king taking a royal census and registering individual names ("this one... that one..."), but the remarkable thing is that these people are Gentiles, and that God is making them His own children and citizens of His Holy City! Even more, the nations named are the avowed enemies of the Jews!
The emphasis in all three verses is on birth, indicating that the people who enter the future glorious kingdom will experience a "new birth" and belong to the family of God. Like Paul, they will be citizens by birth (Acts 22:25-29) and not by purchase. The phrase "those that know me" (v. 4), indicates more than an intellectual appreciation of the Lord. It describes a personal intimate relationship with Him, like that of husband and wife (Gen. 4:1; 19:8; 1 Sam. 2:12; 3:7).
"Rahab" refers to Egypt (Ps. 89:10; Isa. 51:9), Israel's enemy in the south, and the word means "arrogant, boisterous." Egypt enslaved the Jews and yet will share with them citizenship in the city of God and membership in the family of God! (Isa. 19:18-25). Israel's northern enemy, Babylon, would one day destroy Jerusalem and ravage the kingdom of Judah, and the Jews would vow to pay her back (Ps. 137:1, 8-9), but she, too, will be part of the glorious kingdom! Philistia and Tyre on the west were always a threat to Israel, but they will be included. Ethiopia is "Cush," a nation in Africa.
Of course, of all these nations, only Egypt is still on the map, but the message is clear: when the Lord establishes His glorious kingdom, and Messiah reigns from Jerusalem, Israel's enemies will be transformed into fellow citizens. Through the preaching of the Gospel today, this miracle is happening in His church (Eph. 2:11-22; Gal. 3:26-29). The Old Testament prophets promised that believers from all the nations of the earth would be included in Messiah's reign (Isa. 2:1-5; Mic. 4:1-5; Zech. 8:23; 14:16-20), and so did the psalmists (Psalms 22:27; 46:10; 47:9; 57:5, 11; 98:2-3; 99:2-3). Habakkuk prophesied, “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (Hab. 2:14).
Have you experienced this “new birth” (John 3:1-8), which gives you eternal entrance into this Holy City?