Psalm 87: Home for the Holidays

Out in the country in the northwest corner of Illinois there is a log cabin. It is at the end of a long gravel road bordered by luscious greens in the summer and wistful grays in the winter. As my eyes take in the shape of the sloping front porch roof and steep angled sides, my heart quickens. It is my parent’s home and memories are as abundant as the snow falling in the nearby field. Home is where I come from.

The writer of Psalm 87 speaks of something similar. Listen to verse 1.

“On the holy hill stands the city of Jerusalem and the temple God founded.”

The Psalmist speaks of the God-instigated building of Zion and its structures, and God’s affection for the people of Zion.

2. The Lord loves the gates of Zion (through which the crowds of pilgrims enter from all nations) more than all the dwellings of Jacob (Israel) 3. Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God.

Do you see the wonder in this statement? How brilliant that all nations can call this Zion their own. God is not an excluder of any nation. Then the writer goes on to list some nations, (Egypt, Babylon, Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia), that are familiar with people who are born in this great city.

4. I will make mention of those…… who know the city of God (Zion) saying, “This man was born there.”

His words illuminate how this city, Zion, has a reputation of being a noteworthy birthplace. This noteworthiness makes sense and parallels God’s spiritually established Zion of today, comprised of people who are reborn through Christ, His son, who was and is present for all time but was born physically on the first Christmas. His arrival allows us to be re-born.

In verse 5 of this 7 verse piece, the Psalmist emphasizes the builder of Zion. When God establishes a structure, spiritual or otherwise, how durable do you think it will be? I’m guessing eternal. Hear the words.

5. Yes, of Zion it shall be said, This man and that man were born in her, for the Most High Himself will establish her.
(Do you like the reference to the female, “her”? Zion is talked about in this verse as a “her.” The New Testament talks about Christ and the church as His bride.)

Listen to the significance of being from the city of Zion mentioned in verse 6.

The Lord shall count, when He registers the peoples that this man was born there.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because God does not care where you are from physically (all nations) that He does not care where you are from spiritually. When He sets about “registering the peoples,” being from Zion, (re-born through Christ into relationship with God) is of utmost importance! Remember, the Bible teaches that you can’t be rightly related to God by being good enough or sacrificing enough. Only one small infraction, let alone hundreds, makes you “not perfect” enough for a perfect God. You HAVE to be re-born. Then you, too, will be from that blessed city of Zion.

Jesus said in John 3:3, “I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above) he cannot ever see the kingdom of God.”

The joy of seeing their soul’s true home, God’s established Zion, brought out the musicians in verse 7.

The singers as well as the players on instruments shall say, All my springs (my sources of life and joy) are in you (city of our God).

Home is where I am from and home is where I am going. How about you?

Are you heading home for the holidays?

“Dear God, counter of peoples, builder of Zion, wonder of all the universe, help me set my sights on Your eternal home and all the blessing and joy I will find there. Fill my vision with your establishment and not on the faulty things of this earth. May my heart’s Christmas home be filled by the gift of Your son. Let everything else fall away. Amen”

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