Thursday, 18 June 2020
Title: Zion – The City of God
Author: Hon Sir Neng
Psalm 87 (ESV)
What is the City of God? The City of God described in this psalm is Zion, which is where the Temple is located. It is in Jerusalem, which is the capital of Judah. It is described here in this psalm as a holy mountain which God founded (v1), as well as the place which God favours more than others (v2). It is in this place where God speaks glorious things to His people (v3). This is so, because the Temple is located in Zion. God dwells with His people in His Temple by “resting” in the Tabernacle within. It is THE place where God’s people would meet Him in worship.
But what is it that God has spoken from His holy mountain, Zion? Verse 4-6 tells us that there will be many nations that will know God (v4). God Himself will also say of these people, “this one was born there.” Verse 5 also states, “this one and that one were born in her.” God will establish Zion in such manner, by making them citizens of God’s Holy City, Zion! Verse 6 further enforces this, by helping us see that God Himself would register them and bring them in, by saying, “this one was born in Zion.” Verse 7 then gives us a picture of life and joy living in this city of God, people would rejoice through singing and dancing. And everyone will declare “all my springs are in you,” which is a picture of abundant life found in the presence of God.
It is interesting to note that all the nations mentioned here (Rahab, Babylon, Philistia, Tyre and Cush) are enemies of the people of God, the Israelites! What makes it “worse” is that God will bring the Israelites’ enemies to be His own people, to dwell with Him in His Holy City! This is a matter for all to rejoice in, because Israel’s purpose is to be a light to the nations, bringing the knowledge of God as their redeemer to other nations (Isa. 49:6)!
This psalm is a call for us to reflect on 2 points. Firstly, how do we as God’s people view sinners coming to know Christ? Do we scoff at them because of their sins, or do we rejoice because they have come to know Christ, our redeemer? Secondly, what is our attitude of worship before God? Do we worship Him because we are “forced” by our spouse, CG leaders, or even friends? Or do we come to worship Him because He has brought us into His Kingdom through Christ Jesus? Our worship should be a response towards Him, who redeemed us from our sins and is bringing us into His Holy City, that is heaven. This psalm calls us to rejoice because He has redeemed us, who do not deserve His grace and mercy.
Before you pray, ask God’s Spirit to convict you as you meditate on this psalm and its application for your life. As you pray, ask God for forgiveness for the times where you scoffed at a new believer’s struggles instead of rejoicing in their salvation. Also, ask God’s Spirit to help you to acknowledge His saving work in your life, that you will worship God because of all that Christ has done for you. He is worthy of our worship not because He needs it, but because it should be our response to all that He has done, for He has brought us into His Holy City and made us His people.
但是上帝在他的圣山锡安所说的话是什么？第4-6 节告诉我们，会有许多国家认识上帝。上帝自己也会对这些人说：“个个生在那里。” 第5节还指出：“这一个，那一个都生在其中”上帝将使他们成为上帝圣城锡安的子民，以此方式建立锡安！第6节通过帮助我们看到上帝亲自将他们记录并带进来，进一步加强了这一点，说“他要写出人的出生地”。然后，第7节为我们描绘了生活在这个上帝之城中的生活和欢乐，人们会通过唱歌或跳舞而欢欣鼓舞。每个人都会声明：“我的泉源都在你里面。”这是在上帝面前发现丰富生命的景象。