Psalm 87 is a very short chapter that is a song written for the sons of Korah. These guys were the musicians in the temple in Jerusalem. They were the ones responsible for leading worship in the house of God that Solomon had built as the third king of Israel. The psalm is about God’s holy city of Jerusalem. The psalmist refers to it as Zion, which was the name of the hill where Solomon built the temple. They believed that God lived on this hill, and the location was considered to be holy. It is called Mount Zion for that reason – it was a mountain of holiness.
The psalm really talks about two Jerusalems. The first part of the chapter is about the earthly city that God founded on the holy mount. “On the holy mount stands the city he founded; the Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob”. The gates of Zion indicate that God loved the entire city, as there were many gates that allowed people to come and go. I’ve been there to see the majesty of God’s city, and it is in fact quite glorious as the psalmist describes.
But the writer shifts from the city on earth, to the new Jerusalem mid chapter. “And of Zion it shall be said, “This one and that one were born in her”; for the Most High himself will establish her”. The divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit caused the writer to share about things he had no understanding. That’s the amazing power of the scriptures. God brings together His truth in ways we cannot see or understand. The new Jerusalem will be the place for those who are born again – those who receive Christ as their personal Lord and Savior – will spend their eternity.
God is keeping track. “The Lord records as he registers the peoples, “This one was born there“.” As a believer, our name is recorded in the book of life which will be the people that spend eternity with God the Father in this new Jerusalem. It is not a city on this earth, but rather in heaven. It is not made of buildings and roads, but people that know Jesus Christ. We will receive new life when Christ becomes our King. We’re like a spring that wells up and flows. “All my springs are in you”. We get new life from Christ when we make Him our Savior and Lord, dealing with our sin, through confession, repentance and restoration. What an exciting place lies ready for us when we know Jesus as our own!