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September 3, 2022 8:00 am
Welcome to through the songs we give ministry of the truthful teaching God's people.
God's word over time will study all 150 Psalms with pastor Don Greene from truth community church in Cincinnati, Ohio were so glad you're with us. Let's open to the Psalms right now as we join our teacher in the truthful open our text for this evening is Psalm 87 Psalm 87 and I invite you to turn there with me.
One of the surest signs that a man or a woman has started to grasp the significance of Scripture and is on a track for accelerated spiritual growth is when it starts to dawn on him or her on her that the Bible is much, much, much more than a mere book of morals to be followed that the Bible is even much, much more than simply a book of how to come to personal salvation by faith in Jesus Christ.
The Bible teaches us in the Bible leads us to Christ. So yes, most certainly, the Bible does consequently tell us how to live. Once we have become Christians and thus impacts our morality, yes of course that's true, but the Bible is is more than that.
The Bible is much, much more than that in the in the scope of the philosophy that it teaches in the scope of the worldview that it imparts in the way that it teaches us a even a philosophy of history that were going to see here this evening we start to see that there is this great expansive view of the world of spiritual truth of the invisible realm as well as the visible the past, present and future from eternity past to eternity future. The Bible is a sweeping revelation of God, of far-reaching consequences goes far beyond its implications for us in our individual lives as much weight and when we start to grasp something of that it enables us to say what kind of philosophy of life of philosophy of history is the Bible teaching us because think about a beloved. The Bible impacts nations. It speaks to what will happen to nations and that is far beyond the impact that it might have on our own individual lives and so we as we come to recognize that we we come to revere and respect.
This book even more for the profundity of its revelation from God and also to expand our minds and expand our hearts and and to give us things to consider and ponder the go far beyond the things that just relate to our individual lives.
I would never want to be a seeker sensitive pastor I would never want to have a congregation that simply wanted me to tell them what would help them tomorrow because that is just such a small tiny puny restricted view of what God has given us in Scripture to think and to approach the Bible that way is a travesty and is a is a distortion of the purpose of the Bible before you even begin. And so tonight we come to what I believe is just one of the most staggering texts in all of the Bible for all of its obscurity. Not many of us could quote much from Psalm 87 before this evening.
There is a hymn that is built on verse three, but Psalm 87 for all of its compact brevity is one of the most amazing staggering passages of Scripture that a man could ever come to and study and contemplate. That's our privilege to consider it here this evening so glad that you're with us. Verse one and beginning in Psalm 87. The inscription reads a Psalm of the sons of Cora a song verse one.
His foundation is in the holy mountains, the Lord loves the gates of Zion, more than all the other dwelling places of Jacob.
Glorious things are spoken of you oh city of God. Selloff I shall mention Rahab and Babylon.
Among those who know me, behold, Felicity entire with Ethiopia.
This one was born there but of Zion.
It shall be said this one and that one were born in her in the most high, himself, will establish her. The Lord will count when he registers the peoples. This one was born there selloff then those who sing as well as those who play the flute shall say all my springs of joy are in you this short Psalm is difficult, it is more difficult even than it might appear on a first reading. If you read this as a relatively new Christian, not not familiar with some of the geographic references even. For example, it would be hard to make much sense out of what this text has to say. This is not a text that someone would necessarily turn to first in their daily devotions, but one of the benefits and one at one of the things that I want you to see as we approach this tonight. One of the benefits of teaching through the Bible sequentially systematically verse by verse chapter by chapter is that it forces you to come to text and to deal with tax and to wrestle with text that you otherwise might overlook because their significance is not immediately obvious to you and this is one of the ways that we as a church we as a congregation together, you and I is a body of believers, we submit ourselves to God's word.
We humble ourselves before it is that we go through and we say will deal with every text we possibly can in a systematic way and will just let God lead our lives and lead our body through his word, rather than artificially picking and choosing what it is we want to hear when a church does that when a pastor does that when a Christian does that even you could say ultimately what you find is that the Bible is just giving you back what you brought to it in the first place because you just went looking to see what you wanted to find. Rather, as opposed to just saying what does God have for me in this world as we go. Verse by verse chapter by chapter and letting God expand our mind and our understanding our perspective on what he has revealed to us. Psalm 87 is not a text that I ever would've chosen to speak on.
I would've even it would've been incurred to me honestly to speak about it. If I were just going to pick and choose songs to speak on. But tonight as I stand here I am profoundly grateful to God for you, of course, and for the opportunity for us to open up this magnificent text of Scripture as I said the short Psalm is difficult. One commentator said this, he said exegetic lead.
This brief Psalm is one of the most problematic in the whole Psalter so the hundred and 50 songs.
This would rate is one of the most difficult ones to understand and to interpret and so we come to it with a sense of humility. Tonight, not wanting to be so dogmatic that we think that we have things figured out that other men have wrestled with over the years. So were going to just try to address it on its terms and let it speak to us tonight. What we have here today. Another thing that I love really just really fallen in love with the Psalms. More than I expected to.
When we started doing this, some 4 1/2 years ago, one of the things that I just really appreciated about sequentially teaching through the Psalms is finding that the songs that are next to one another often have connections to each other when the songs were put into their final form by whoever did that.
Perhaps it was Ezra. We really don't know that the Psalms were placed together next to one another and there are themes that cross songs and you go through a section of 345 Psalms.
You start to see that there are themes that are echoed as you go from one to the other. That's another thing that you would miss if you picked and choose just random songs to teach on what we find here in Psalm 87 is that Psalm 87 is expanding on a very crucial text that we saw last time. In Psalm 86 Psalm 86 verse nine. I encourage you to look at that as I'm just now starting to get wound up here, Psalm 86 verse nine says all nations whom you have made shall come and worship before you, oh Lord, and they shall glorify your name to tax that speaks to the worldwide worship of God, the worldwide worship of his incarnate son. In this Psalm 87 is were going to see is an expansion of that which was set forth force in the immediately prior song and this is what I was alluding to.
As I introduced the text just a few moments ago is for us to to step back into to recognize and to realize that there is a place and time for us to set aside our own individual thoughts or individual plans are individual problems.
What does this text mean to me. That kind of mindset that we all know so very well and to realize that when you deal with the totality of Scripture you are introduced to things of such great profound transcendence. The transcend centuries, let alone to say transcending our individual lives. Things that transcend localities things that transcend national borders and speak to something of worldwide import and what is being said. Shirley, Psalm 86 verse nine is a text like that when it encompasses every nation in the world says there is a coming day when all nations, whom you have made shall come and worship before you, oh Lord black dwarfs any one of us to divorce our church a divorce divorce anything in the news today to recognize that there is a time like that that is coming and that there will be such a universal recognition of the Lordship of Christ and that nations will bow before him and honor him and glorify his name. You just start to realize this is staggering and you start to realize that you said you started it just humbles you before the text and you start to say to yourself, who, who am I and what is myosin filled Thanh to be able to speak of such majestic glory since this right so Psalm 87 is building on what we saw on Psalm 86 verse nine Psalm 87 is not a prayer as other Psalms are the psalmist in Psalm 87 is not struggling with issues of faith and doubt.
There are many other Psalms that deal with that Psalm 87 has a different purpose in the Psalter he's talking about something something in a different realm, something of transcendent value of's transcendent import and it's our privilege to follow after it here this evening.
Psalm 87 is not a personal prayer. It's not a statement of personal faith. What Psalm 87 is is a poetic statement about the city of Jerusalem and were going to see that in Psalm 87 Jerusalem is extolled as the glorious city the glorious city which we could use as our title for tonight's message.
In fact will not only use it for the title of tonight's message will also use that as our first point for the evening.
The glorious city now in the Old Testament God manifested his presence in a special way in the temple at Jerusalem. That's just a matter of common fact you can read about that during the reign of Solomon. The temple was built and everything was sanctified in God's Shekinah glory came in and rested there. The temple was the place where God manifested his presence now to get into the immediate thought and realm of the mind of the psalmist here understand that the psalmist is recognizing that God, in a special, unique way, has manifested his presence in the temple at Jerusalem in Old Testament days now what does that tell you immediately about that geographic area. The area of the city of Zion Zion being a poetic name for Jerusalem well you start to say wow, the creator of the universe, the God of Israel, the God who would one day become incarnate in the Lord Jesus Christ chose that place as the place in which to manifest his presence.
The blessedness of God was manifested in the city of Jerusalem in a way that was different from any other city in the world talk about the great cities of the world today, you might mention New York, Chicago, Singapore, Paris, depending on your your personal preferences and prejudices about things, but there is no city in the world that has been blessed like Jerusalem to be the place for God's presence was uniquely manifested and so there is this recognition that there is a unique glory about the city of Jerusalem that the psalmist wants to expound upon as he writes in this song. So think with me just a little bit as we go along here. The temple then was the appointed place for worship God revealed manifested his Shekinah glory in the holy of holies there. This is this is unique. There is nothing like it anywhere. The greatest cities of the world cannot claim to have had that manifestation of God in their in their presence and so when the believing heart is thinking rightly, it recognizes that there was a special privilege that was given to the city of Jerusalem that was not given to anyone else. Jerusalem therefore had a unique prominence among the cities of the earth, and that's what he saying here in verses one and to look at it with me. It says his foundation is in the holy mountains. Notice how abrupt this statement is the Psalm is marked by these these abrupt statements that aren't expanded on his kind of a staccato bullet point thing that doesn't expand on everything that could be said and so you're just given brief statements of themes that that are intended to stimulate your thinking. His foundation is in the holy mountains and then he goes on and says in verse two Yahweh, the Lord, the covenant keeping God of Israel, the Lord loves the gates of Zion, more than all the other dwelling places of Jacob. There's a special favor of God that was placed on Jerusalem.
The temple was built on a mountain that towered above the city. As I said, Zion is a poetic name for Jerusalem will see this manifested in some of the Scriptures that I'm going to look at later on this evening, but it speaks to the spiritual significance of the city in the Old Testament and it says right from the beginning that the Lord loves the gates of Zion, more than all the other dwelling places of Jacob.
There's a special favor upon the city that was not given even to the other cities in Israel. None of the other cities for the were that were the location of the temple where the where the worship of the believing Saints would be done where people would gather and celebrate the presence of God and where atonement would be made for sin in the Old Testament economy. This is magnificent. This is set apart things are given to this place were given to no one else of the most profound significance possible. Now it says the Lord loves the gates of Zion. The gates of the city were traditionally the center of its city and its business and its social life, and so the center of the city kind of defined its purpose, its meaning it's it's it's social significance. What the residents of the city had was was manifested in this place of a public gathering the gates of Zion are you kidding me the gates of Zion, the center of life of this city had a special purpose, the gates to this city gave access to the worship of the one true God, and God shows the elevated hills upon which Jerusalem sets so that it might be called his royal residence in Old Testament times, unique privilege of unspeakable consequence so that he says in verse three again in these in this short brief staccato fashion.
Glorious things are spoken of you oh city of God. Glorious things are spoken of you. This is where God has revealed himself. This is where God can be met and be worshiped in that Old Testament economy in Jerusalem was the city of God, the city belonging to God the city in which God met his people for worship. Think about that the manifest presence of God in this one location. No other Dwelling Pl. in Israel received a gift like that and so is all go into in a moment. What you need to recognize is this is that what made Jerusalem special was the fact that God had chosen it.
Jerusalem enjoyed a a derived glory a derivative glory that before David came and established his throne in Jerusalem.
The geography was there but it wasn't special before then. Like this is not that there was an intrinsic glory to that specific geographic region.
What it's saying is, is that Jerusalem was on the receiving end of a gift of grace from God to be appointed for such a magnificent purposes. This something given to Jerusalem that was not given anywhere else. It was the city of God you can think about it this way. It was the city of God, because God set his love upon it, God chose to love this place to love Jerusalem to make himself known there. Turned back to to just kind of remember some of the Old Testament perspective on these things pertaining to God in Israel and choosing them as a nation turn back to Deuteronomy chapter 7 Deuteronomy chapter 7. Beginning in verse six for you are a holy people to the Lord your God, the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth, talking, talking about the Jews not having an intrinsic merit of their own, but that that God chose them as a people and and made them his possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. We get that in a in a personal human level, the God chose a people like that in this dispensation. God's chosen the elect the believers in Christ to be his people in a unique way set his love upon them, not for any intrinsic merit of their own, but for before his own purpose according to his own will for his own pleasure for his own love. He set his affection on the nation of Israel. He sets his affection on the elect in Christ. Well, there's a parallel to the fact that God did something similar to this place, this city of Zion, and go on in verse seven we see the Lord did not set his love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples prayer.
You were the fewest of all peoples, but because the Lord loved you and kept the oath which he swore to your forefathers, the Lord brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt you were in slavery you were this pathetic small group of people in slavery in Egypt. No land of your own you are you are a people, but you want to nation and look at what God did for you he chose you and brought you out.
This is Moses speaking just as are on the brink of entering into the promised land.
He says remember where you came from. You were no one special. There was no merit in you that God according to his own love and his own purpose chose you blessed you and brought you out so that you on the verge of entering into the land he promised to is for God's sake, according to God's love.
God's purpose and it's in that spirit that we speak of Jerusalem as being the city of God, because God had to do it. There were chose to where God was pleased to manifest himself. Look at Psalm 78 Psalm 78 where you see this distinguishing grace of God.
This distinguishing choice of God, resented by men who believe that God owes everyone an equal opportunity on what basis would we play such obligations on the pre-holy Creator of the universe we as sinful creatures who have fallen short of his glory and who are rebels against him. On what basis would we obligate him to treat all men the same if it pleases God to to some and not others. This is just the pride of man rising up in rebellion against the free sovereign grace of God to do with what is his, according to what he wants to do so in verse 67 of Psalm 78 we see that God rejected the tent of Joseph and did not choose the tribe of freedom. These are tribes of Israel. He did not choose to manifest his presence in their the geographic regions of their tribe, but instead verse 68. He chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion, which he loved and he built his sanctuary like the heights like the earth which he is founded forever God in free sovereign wisdom, according to what pleased him and pleased him alone, said, I will manifest my presence in Zion in Jerusalem in the place that I have chosen one other passage for you to see. Psalm 132 verse 13 Psalm 132 verse 13. I do want you to see this Psalm 132 verse 13 the Lord Yahweh. Yahweh has chosen Zion. He has desired it for his habitation and so God chose the city, according to his own divine purpose, because it pleased him to do so.
Just as he chooses some to receive salvation in Christ because it pleases him to do so now let's take this pause for a little bit and come to the to the round in the area of of personal salvation someone might well ask, why did God choose me someone who's who knows that he's in Christ someone who knows that she is in Christ and is conscious of the sinful condition in which God and from which God saved them might ask why would God do that. What was there about me that would prompt him to choose me and the answer to that question is, there was nothing in you to choose you. That is precisely the point. There is nothing in any man or any woman that distinguishes them from someone else to make them a more likely candidate to receive God's grace in Christ. When God saves someone when Christ saves someone, it is because it pleases him to do it. He doesn't according to his own wisdom, his own will, his own love and that is the final and ultimate answer to the question. It's not because of anything that was in you or was in me that God saved us. There wasn't anything in us that prompted his electing choice God shows us according to his sovereign purpose is sovereign love in his sovereign grace sovereign in the sense that it was a free un-influenced un-required decision on his part.
Now that completely levels the pride of man and magnifies the grace of God in such a way that those of us who are in Christ can only respond with pure unreserved worship that says all God, thank you for your grace to this unworthy sinner. You did not have to choose me, and yet you did. You had every right to judge me and yet you won't. I was full of guilt and vileness and corruption in your hand of mercy came upon and washed me and cleansed me and brought me into your family that I might be with you forever. God, I am divorced by your grace, I'm divorced by the majesty of salvation.
I am humbled before you everything that I have is nothing that I deserved.
Scripture says what you have that you didn't receive and so we find this principle of God's choice in this bestowing blessing. We see it in a national realm with Israel.
We see it on an individual realm among Christians. We see it in the realm of his choice of Jerusalem. God does not choose people or places according to anything of their merit or that what they deserve. He does so, according to his own divine purpose to obliterate it further. He does it.
According to his own divine pleasure. It pleased him to do this and when we are contemplating Zion.
We realize that there is a privilege that has was given to Zion that was not given to anyone else. And so Zion watch this Zion has a derived glory. According to Scripture, according to the purposes of God. As with the place, so also with people sticking with the obliterating P here tonight for as long as I can carry that out. As with people, as with believers, then electing love. If you haven't worked through this I would really listen to what I'm about to say.
Electing love does not bring pride to the one who is been chosen by God properly understood electing love does not bring pride over personal merit far to the contrary.
What electing love does is bring praise to the heart for undeserved grace, God chose me for salvation in Christ before the foundation of the world, do not boast in anything of myself and the result of that because I know there wasn't anything about me to prompt that in him, so it rather than making me boast, it humbles me completely. I received a gift. I did not deserve and so a lot of my responses is not to boast in me but to boast in the cross of Christ to boast in the God who bestowed upon me. Such undeserved grace and to boast even further and to proclaim as far and wide us as as opportunity brings itself that God offers grace to every man woman and child who would come under the sound of the gospel and freely offers them the fullness of salvation if they will but receive it and those who turn away have only their own hard hearts to blame. There is no unwillingness in God to save based on these things. So Zion is a glorious city brings us to point number two as the psalmist speaks of the glorious future. The glorious future and as glorious as the first three verses have been. There is a greater crescendo that is being built toward here.
You could say that I really haven't thought about it until just this moment in the way that we have understood these first three verses there's a bit of a glance back that looking at the Lord's love for the gates of Zion and remembering something of the history that that in the way that that manifested itself, but what were going to see now is going to look to the future.
God now speaks in the first person as this Psalm continues in verse four. Look at it with me.
He says I shall mention Rahab and Babylon.
Among those who know me, behold, Felicity entire with Ethiopia. This one was born there but of Zion. It shall be said this one and that one were born in her and the most high, himself, will establish her. The Lord will count when he registers the people. This one was born there.
Notice that repeated theme. This one was born there. Verse four verse five this morning that when were born in her verse six. This one was born there. Notice the theme that this section brings up will explain that in just a moment in a general way what we find here in this section is that the God who founded this city is declaring who has the right of citizenship in this glorious city who has the right of citizenship who can claim a a a portion in this blessing that has been given to Zion and what it's saying is, is that the gates are open to those who know him who know this God look at verse four with me there at the start, I shall mention Rahab and Babylon. Among those who know me and so God has revealed himself in the city and he has revealed himself so that he might be known. One of the wonders of God's revelation of himself is that he revealed himself that he might be known. He's revealed himself in.
In a general way to all people in creation. Psalm 19 verses 1 to 6 talks about that something of his nature and divine power can be known through creation, but what this is talking about here in verse four is something deeper something more profound. It's not talking about a casual knowledge of of mere acquaintance alive. I've heard about him. I know of.
I know something about that. Like I I know, I know that there's an empire state building in New York City. There, you know, I know something casually in that way that's not what this is. Here, this is the language of true worship and confession of real confession and obedience to him, to know God in that way to know God, not, not simply as some kind of remote vague creator that we call upon in darkness, when were in the midst of our trials, but rather to know him according to his revealed perfections to know him. According to who he really is and to not simply know him that way, but to relate to him by faith to relate to him in worship in real confession of him to come to him in yielded some loving submission to him and says I will have you as my God, I know you is my God I worship you. You are my God and I am your servant kind of no knowing that kind of knowledge is what is being spoken of here who counts as a true citizen of Zion who has part in other words, you can state the question this way, who has part two has a portion who is under them. The beneficial consequences of the fact that God has revealed himself in Jerusalem with me are retracted here are my have I missed the boat. It's just backup a bit. God is revealed himself in Jerusalem and that means that Jerusalem has a special place of honor because of the honor the God bestowed upon it by blessing Jerusalem with his presence now beloved God revealed himself were slowing down here that's good. God has revealed himself in order that he might be known. God revealed himself with the purpose of creating and forming for himself a people who would belong to him and would worship him, who would know him truly know him our Lord Jesus prayed father that I pray that they would know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent a real knowledge of worship, consecration, conversion, sanctification, set apart for him. I I am. I am yours to God would have a people that belong to him that were uniquely devoted to him in their affections and aspirations that he would be there God and they would be his people to know him like that God revealed himself in order to make that happen. Now the question is, who then is it that benefits from this revelation. What is the goal of that revelation.
The goal would be that there would be people that know him like that and so we could ask the question then who counts who is numbered among the true citizens of Zion collect question matters question matters, perhaps in a way that was more significant in times past, than it is in our day and age, even though it matters here for us today to belong to a city was to have the right of residence and protection from that city. If you were a citizen of the city you know say were within the walls of the city were entitled to the protection of the city walls, protection of the city Army, the city King. If you want to say it like that you were under the realm of the protection of that city you how you view belong to their get it. You belong there.
There were benefits that were hearers. So when we ask the question, then who who is a citizen of Zion were asking who has the right to dwell in the presence of God who knows him who is under his protection who benefits from this revelation of God that he is made in this place.
And God answers his own answers the question, but it's not in a way that you would expect at all, especially in Old Testament times, you would expect this answer at all. You would expect in a context like this when the Jewish writer is writing a Jewish poetry about a Jewish city you would expected to exalt the exclusivity of Israel and the tribes of Israel. You'd expected to list out tribes of Israel as those who belong there. Dan Judah Benjamin you'd expect to see that this isn't this is not that tall. Now remember were reading Psalm 87 with an echo of Psalm 86 verse nine.
In our minds. All nations whom you have made shall come and worship before the Lord and they shall glorify your name. We've been prepared for what were about to see here what we see here is, those who who have right of citizenship in Zion is not a recitation of Jewish tribes, but instead a representative list of five nations that surrounded Israel in Old Testament times, Rahab was another name for Egypt, which you can see in Isaiah chapter 30 verse seven we will look there. Babylon traditional him an enemy to the north.
Celestia lay to the west of Israel on the Mediterranean coast tire was a commercial center to the north of the land of Israel Ethiopia.
Your translation may say Koosh was to the south of Egypt. What's his first doing is picturing God reading from the book of life. Look at it with me. Verse four. He says I shall mention these nations among those who know me. Verse six the Lord will count when he registers the people.
This verse is picturing the. The section I should say is picturing God reading from the book of life. Watch this. He is including foreign peoples with his own people. Israel, as he declares those who have right of citizenship in Zion.
One commentator said this in a quote blueblood remember were talking about nations future were talking about something transcendent here is commentator said this in a quote foreign nations are here described not as captives or tributaries, not even as doing voluntary homage to the greatness and glory of Zion but is actually incorporated and enrolled by a new birth among her sons." This is a statement of staggering prophetic grace, God is saying, I will include other nations within the realm of the benefits of my revelation that I made of myself in Zion, the enemies of my people will one day be reconciled to me. They will have a right of citizenship. I will treat them as though they were actually born there so full, so free, so complete will be the privilege that is theirs, but I will read off their names and by sovereign prerogative. I'll say this one was born there born their birthright citizenship having all of the full privileges of someone who was literally physically born there in this registry which God is describing how this is so beautiful. This is so beautiful. This registry means that these people who wants for enemies will one day have the right of entry to the city. They will belong there.
Look at Revelation chapter 21 to just get a sense of this in biblical terms. Revelation 21 verse 24. I used to say frequently as I was preaching.
I think this is my favorite text in the Bible. I stop saying that after I said it about 12 or 15 different texts just starts to sound foolish after a while. But this Psalm 87 is really really precious beloved in Revelation 21 verse 24 that start in verse 22. Looking forward to the new Jerusalem and the eternal state says I saw no temple in it for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple and the city has no need of the signer of the moon to shine on it for the glory of God has illumined it in its lamp is the Lamb, the nation's will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.
In the daytime, for there will be no night there. Its gates will never be closed and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination in line shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.
The point being is is that it is described here as though there is a registry of people who belong there, and when their name is listed in the registry. They have a right to enter they belong there. The blessing of this place is something in which they have a portion into which they are entitled to by grace and so as is going back to Psalm 87 you get a picture of this of God talking about Zion and answering the question. Who benefits from this who has the right to be there and is reading for nations who were not recipients of the promises that were made to Israel it's expanded beyond Israel. In what sense were they born there.
They were born there that's that's you read this song for the first time the second time in the third time in the fourth time that just sounds really kinda weird at the start. What is the point of this. What is he saying he said it three times. It must matter.
They were born there. Think with me here. The profundity of this text knows the depths of the profundity of this text cannot be sounded they cannot be reached. We can only dip our tolling the depth of the water and realize that there's far more below that we will get but it is evident that he is not talking about people who were physically born in the city.
They were not physically born there because you say what you say that because by natural birth. There associated with the surrounding nations then this can only mean one thing. It can only mean quoting James Montgomery voice. It can only mean that it will be set down in the official records as if they had been born there, meaning that they will be given the status of true citizens." They have been given something which was not there right by natural birth God in grace by a second birth by a new birth by a spiritual birth is giving them privileges that they had no claim on they were born there by declaration of God. They have all of the rights and claims and privileges of the citizen who was literally born physically there. God says the benefits of my revelation that I made in Jerusalem will expand to nations who were outside the walls who were outside the promises that both Hubbard is a staggering, staggering, staggering, staggering statement of grace. The consequences of this are are incalculable. They have received a second birth that ties them to Jerusalem nations who were formerly hostile to Israel will one day come to worship there to worship the God of Israel to worship God as he is revealed himself now in the fullness of Revelation, we understand, to worship Jesus Christ himself the full and final revelation of God, who will be manifest in Jerusalem. The prophets speak of this often often turn to Isaiah chapter 19.
Bear with me here. Isaiah chapter 19 in verse 23 would have to press the accelerator a little bit here so we don't go till midnight. Isaiah chapter 19 verse 23 says in that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria and the Assyrians will come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians in that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord of hosts has blessed saying, Blessed is Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands and Israel.
My inheritance saying this is going to expand to nations which were once the enemies of my people. One day I'll call Egypt my people.
One day I'll call Syria my people turn a little further, deeper into your Old Testament to the book of Micah which is in the center of the the 12 the minor prophets the so-called minor prophets Micah chapter 4 goes Jonah Micah Nahum there and that center part. Looking forward to a day still future to us. When nations come and worship the true, the one and true love living.
The only God. Micah chapter 4 verse two.
Many nations will come and say come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord nations beloved nations nations, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord into the house of the God of Jacob that he may teach us about his ways and that we may walk in his paths for from Zion will go forth the law, even the word of the Lord from Jerusalem to see the parallelism Zion Jerusalem. There is a coming day were God will be manifest once again in Jerusalem, and nations will come and gather and say we want to hear from this God love that hasn't happened in the past 2500 years.
That tells me that this day, of which the prophets speak is still future.
This is still future to us not to be explained in a a spiritual redefinition of who Israel is not to say that the church has replaced Israel, and Israel has been cast aside. No, no, Scripture would indicate that God is still going to do something future that will represent the fulfillment of all of these magnificent promises look at the book of Zechariah chapter 2 and go to Zechariah not Zephaniah because I would be easy to do. Zechariah chapter 2 verse 10 ha this is so so amazing I might just preach till midnight.
If you need to go you can go.
Zechariah chapter 2 verse 10 hey get back you know no one no one no one was leaving that was a joke for you. Those of you on the lifestream.
Those of you sitting up front was a total joke.
Zechariah chapter 2 verse 10 sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion for behold I am coming and I will dwell in your midst, declares the Lord.
Many nations will join themselves to the Lord in that day and will become my people.
You see it you see it. This statement, they will become my people is what Psalm 87 is describing in verses four through six. Then I will dwell in your midst, and you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me. The Lord will possess Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.
There's another coming day. Zechariah 8 verse 22. I don't how many times God would have to say nations to make us think that he meant nations. Zechariah 822 so many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to entreat the favor of the Lord.
Thus says the Lord of hosts. In those days those days still to come. 10 men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew saying let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you and then in chapter 14 verse 16. I'm giving you sampling here. This is hardly comprehensive or exhaustive. I just want you to see that this is a repeated theme not making this up as I like to say I'm not capable of making this stuff up. Zechariah 1416 that it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to celebrate the feast of booths. How can we summarize this simplified tie it up into a simple statement the past hostility of nations against Israel and against their God will one day yield to future worship.
There is a coming time of glory, of peace, when Christ reigns from Jerusalem and the nations will come and participate. We have a foretaste we have a sampling of that today. Now in the church as Gentiles believe from every tongue and tribe and nation. That's a foretaste, but it's not the final fulfillment. It couldn't be the fullness of what the prophets foretold is yet to come.
Jesus Christ will be universally recognized as the King of Kings and not merely individuals but nations as nations will come and offer their worship. Beloved plotted it will be glorious. We have reached the. The limits of human language to express the magnificence and the exalted wonder of what that would be like the reality will go far beyond the boundaries of human words here this evening, but it will be glorious. And the point of Psalm 87 is it will be in Zion the city of God. When this takes place.
We've talked about this in Old Testament temple terms. Can I remind you that God revealed himself furthering Christ in Jerusalem. Steve Lawson said this is a somewhat lengthy quote and just kind of tying up the nature of Psalm 87 and the emphasis on Jerusalem for us to see in a compact place the wonder in the magnificence of the way that God revealed himself in that glorious city. I quote it was in the holy city Jerusalem that Jesus died for sins became a curse under the law for sinners. It was in Jerusalem that Jesus rose from the dead, triumphant over the grave. It was from the Mount of olives at Jerusalem that Jesus ascended back to heaven. It was to Jerusalem that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit. It was in Jerusalem.
The Christ built the first church and it will be to Jerusalem that Jesus shall return at the end of this age and it will be in Jerusalem that Christ will rule and reign over the earth for 1000 years. How special is Jerusalem to God, so should it be to all who love him as well." Nations beloved.
This is a staggering picture of grace and grandeur.
It is staggering to think of the future course of history.
Staggering to think that in this convoluted mess of hostility toward God in which we live among nations here today to think that one day Christ will return and reverse it, and there will be a a joining of nations to come around his name to worship him.
It is staggering to think of this Lord whom we love, by faith not by sight. Right now, being visible on the earth raining and being loved being worship by nations is staggering. Beloved to think of the grace that God has in store for nations who know him not. It's overwhelming, isn't it.
This is a lot better than we can imagine, this takes our thoughts to the realms of God's plan. God's purpose for the world for nations. It takes us to the surpassing supremacy of our Lord Jesus Christ so great and so worthy as his intrinsic worth the nations with when he comes back will recognize it staggering to think of the grace that will allow the conversion of nations who were once hostile to this is all beyond our ability to comprehend and it leaves you.
It leaves us wanting a capstone leaves us. The combination of all of these things cries out for a response because our hearts are ready to explode with the magnificence of what Scripture reveals well might we hide our faith that the glory of these magnificent truths at the magnificent God who plan such grace for undeserving people in the a cries out to burst out of us. That's why the last verse of Psalm 87 is there point number three the glorious response the glorious response we saw the glorious city the glorious future. Now the glorious response in that great day of which we have been speaking joyous worship will mark all of God's people.
Verse seven. Then those who, saying, as well as those who play the flutes shall say all my springs of joy are in you. This is a picture of joyful music and even dancing. I think the ESV uses the word dancer dancing in its translation here in that day that day in which Christ reigns that day when nations are gathered around him to receive from him to learn from him to respond in worship is going to be a time of explosive joy of magnificent expression of responding to the fact that the son of God is now present and in our midst and raining on earth, and nations will rejoice over that. And Jerusalem will be celebrated as the glorious city of God. All my springs of joy are in you, the spring the fountain all the that the originating source of all of this comes back to this geographic location.
God revealed himself in the Old Testament in the temple in Jerusalem. Christ came and made himself known and made atonement for sinners at Jerusalem, and now in the future in the day yet to come. Christ will be there again again manifesting and revealing God in a way that will compel in joyful willing response from those of God is converted and when he is in the midst the celebration will be unlike anything the earth has ever seen, and yet the city. The city is just a setting. The city is the setting for the king. It's like having is like having a ring where magnificent diamond has been set upon it. The ring is the setting so that the diamond can be displayed. Jerusalem is the ring where the diamond of our gracious Lord, will be displayed. Christ will reign from Jerusalem nations will rejoice and those of us that no Christ today will be a part of that celebration as well. What a magnificent day that will be when we are resurrected and join in this worship of him. Revelation chapter 20 verse four speaks of it. Revelation 20 verse four they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years in the Psalm is this in verse six Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years our father. We look forward to that great day. We are staggered at the magnificent plan that you have. We rejoice in the grace that you will show two nations today.
Father, we rejoice in the grace that you have shown to us. We respond to you father with this joyous worship. This gladness of heart.
This recognition that we are in the presence of one far greater far more gracious for more wonderful than anything that we would ever be far more wonderful than I could see her ear could hear her tongue could tell. So great is your glory beyond all of our human comprehension and human senses are God and we we we rejoice, we thank you in advance that you will show grace to nations, yet still in the future to share in this to participate, to have privilege to have ownership in the way that you have manifested yourself. Starting from that geographic center in Zion, the city of God fulfilled now in the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. So father fill us with hope for less with anticipation that that drowns out the. The countervailing noises of anxiety and difficulty in adversity in this present little window of life.
Father let us find our great hope in our great anticipation and the fact that you will one day be more greatly glorified than you are right now you will be more widely and more famously known than you are right now and when you are exalted and recognized like that father.
It will be the fulfillment of our highest aspirations that you would receive more glory from men than you do right now.
We thank you father in honor you and worship you that you have included us in your plan that we might partake of these glorious though unworthy in ourselves.
Father I pray for those that are here that have have still spurned Christ that are still turned away heart of heart. Father made the magnificence of the glories of which we have spoken create in them an urgency to come to Christ that they would not be left behind. Have such magnificence, but they would come with a joyful willing heart to embrace Christ confessing sin and giving themselves to him freely only that they might participate in the worship that is the ultimate outcome of life on for these things father we pray we honor you and we bless your holy name. In Christ over and thank you for joining us for through the Psalms, a weekly ministry of the truth. Pulpit and if you have the opportunity. We would love to invite you to join us on Sundays at 9 AM Eastern and Tuesdays 7 PM Eastern for our live stream from truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can find the link at the truth. Pulpit.com thanks Don and Fran through the Psalms is a weekend ministry of the truth sure to join us next week for our study. As Don continues teaching God's people. God's word and we also invite you to join us on Sunday at 9 AM Eastern for our live stream from truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can find the link at the truth. Pulpit.com this message is copyrighted by Don Green. All rights reserved