Born In Zion
His foundation is on the holy mountain. The Lord loves the gates of ZionMore than all the dwellings of Jacob (Israel). Glorious things are spoken of you,O city of God [Jerusalem]. Selah. “I will mention Rahab (Egypt) and Babylon among those who know Me—Behold, Philistia and Tyre with Ethiopia (Cush)—‘This one was born there.’” But of Zion it will 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 peoples,“This one was born there.” Selah. The singers as well as the players of flutes will say,“All my springs and sources of joy are in you [Jerusalem, city of God].”
In the first week on her job as the first woman ever to serve as United States Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, fifty-nine, learned a family secret- she was of Jewish ancestry.
She had never known that her parents were Czech Jews and that two of her grandparents, as well as an aunt, died in concentration camps during the Holocaust.
What a jolt to discover that your roots differ from what you believed your whole life.
Psalm 87 celebrates the ancestry of all those born in Zion- or Jerusalem. But it has shocking news. The birth records are not limited to a single ethnicity. Those born elsewhere have opportunity to change their point of origin.
Psalm 87 was originally sung by the Sons of Korah who often composed music for worship in the temple at Jerusalem. They were the praise and worship leaders and like prophets, in this psalm, their words are beyond their ability to fully understand them. We who have the privilege of looking back can now see what the Holy Spirit has in mind when He inspired the Sons of Korah to write it.
It is clear that the earthly city of Jerusalem held a special place in the heart of God. He loved it more than all cities because on its holy mountain, He has placed the temple- through which a show-and-tell object lesson was given for centuries so that sinful people might know how they could have fellowship with God and forgiveness of sins.
But if the earthly city of Jerusalem was glorious, how much more will the New Jerusalem above co ing down from heaven as a bride who is beautifully dressed for her husband. In that city, there will be no more sea(separation from those we love), death, crying, pain, mourning, curse, or night as well as the absence of all hurts and dangers. All these are gone forever.
So then, who belongs to this city? The incredible news of Psalm 87 begins at verse 4 of those whom God Himself says are “born in Zion.” Who are these that are native born Zionist? Amazingly they are five ancient enemies.
First there is Rahab- the nickname given by Isaiah to Egypt rather than Rahab the harlot who saved the spies at Jericho. Not only will the Babylonians who destroyed Zion and took its people away into captivity, but Egypt- the oppressors of Israel who enslaved them will be “born in Zion.”
These mighty foreign powers- Egypt to the south and Babylon to the north are followed by the smaller local enemies who gave the Israelites trouble throughout its history: Tyre and Philistia(modern Lebanon). And even the more remote foreign power threat, Cush(modern day Ethiopia) is included among those “born in Zion.”
We might wonder how this could be but the Lord Himself will sign their names into the birth registry of Zion.
The Sons of Korah, in the distance, have been given a view of the city of New Jerusalem, a gleaming international city occupied by those from every language, nation, and tribe. This is the Jerusalem of above where its citizens are true Jews inwardly. This psalm as it notes Egyptians, Babylonians, Philistines, Ethiopians, and the citizens of Tyre as native born Zionists captures the essence of Ephesians 2 in which the Gentiles “are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household.”
Those who apply for a passport are required to furnish proof of who they are by presenting a certified copy of your birth certificate, of which the original copy is stored at the courthouse in the county in which they are born. That birth certificate entitles you to citizenship in your country of origin.
There is, however a hall of records far beyond any county courthouse that is called the Lamb’s Book of Life.(Revelation 21:27) Only those whose names are found in that registry will have the right to enter New Jerusalem. For those whose names are in the Book of Life, Jesus tells to rejoice.
The question then is how do we get our names inscribed? In the conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus says we “must be born again.” New birth is only received by receiving Jesus Christ into our lives, believing upon His name, confessing with our mouths that He is Lord and believing in our hearts that God has raised Christ from the dead. Those who choose this way, have said of them by God, “That one was born in Zion.”
We are urged by the writers of the New Testament to live with the realization that “our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who….will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body”(Philippians 3: 20-21). The glorious city is filled with glorious people.
It is no wonder that Psalm 87 closes with the anthem sung by the citizens of Zion above, “All my fountains are in you”(verse 7). All that sustains us comes from the Lord Himself, not from ourselves.
So what about you? If Zion(New Jerusalem) the holy city of God is your choice of final destination, then your name is already written in the registry of new births there.
Put yourself up for adoption, if you haven’t already done so. If you have, know that you have already been adopted and your name is recorded in the family records.
Dr. John Thompson