He has set his foundation on the holy mountain;
the Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. ( Ps 87:1-2)
In the enormity of the Psalter, like the whole of the Bible, small sections are easily overlooked by the casual reader in an effort to comprehend the span of God’s story. Only when we devote ourselves to directed and purposeful study or on our fifth or sixth time through the scriptures do the small, powerful truths come to the surface. Such are the seven verses of Psalm 87.
Two visions of the world are in view here. The Lord loves Zion, where He has chosen to make His home in the temple and become the centerpiece of their lives. His people would move toward Him in this arrangement. His Presence stayed in the Temple and worship required immediacy to that location. The psalm looks forward, however, to a time when His Presence would touch those far beyond Zion. It points to a time when Gentiles would we welcomed into the family, brothers and sisters who would acknowledge Him and cease their hostility toward Him. So it was written and so it has become.
Grace and peace to you..
image andrew mace–
Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, his holy mountain.
It is beautiful in its loftiness, the joy of the whole earth. (v 1)
This brief psalm closes the trilogy of praise found in psalms 46, 47, and 48. These were originally utilized in the liturgy of temple worship and they serve(d) the purpose of focusing the people of God of the important characteristics of the Lord they worship. In this prayer, the knowledge of the security that comes from being within God’s city and therefore within His presence is emphasized.
God is in her citadels; he has shown himself to be her fortress. (v 3)
As we meditate on this verse we recognize the core truth that applies to our lives at this moment. Note that where God dwells is not separate from Him, He is the fortress that provides the security. The challenges to the security of Zion come from the four points of the compass in the next four verses but they are rebuffed. There is nothing that can challenge God.
Do we find the same security in knowing the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives? Is there ‘direction’ from which you are not convinced that God mans the ramparts? We need to come to know that there is no area of our lives that can stand outside of the love and security of God. Areas in which we struggle can be turned over with confidence to God knowing that there is no direction from which a surprise can come for Him. We rest in His security.
Like your name, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love.
Like your name, O God, your praise reaches to the ends of the earth; your right hand is filled with righteousness. (vv 9-10)
Image by Conor Dupre-Neary