Psalm 87 – God’s Unifying Plan

by | June 9, 2020


Among those who know me I mention Rahab and Babylon; behold, Philistia and Tyre, with Cush—“This one was born there,” they say. 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 LORD records as he registers the peoples, “This one was born there.” (Psalm 87:4)

Psalm 87 is a little Psalm with a grand message. In order to draw that message out let’s look at some of the nations it mentions in Psalm 87:4. Rahab was a foreigner who was a worshipper of God. It was also what God called Egypt in Isaiah 30:7 when the prophet Isaiah writes, “Egypt’s help is worthless and empty; therefore I have called her “Rahab who sits still.” This was a way of mocking Egypt. Babylon was the nation that took the Israelites from their land into captivity. Philistia was the enemy of Israel. Tyre was another powerful nation north of Israel. Cush was a remote region south of Egypt. These were gentile nations. So what does this have to do with anything?

This Psalm is saying that those gentile nations would one day be born in Zion. The psalmist is writing and proclaiming that one day God would break down the walls of division that existed between his people and other nations and draw all peoples to himself. A diverse community has always been a part of God’s plan dating to the time when this Psalm was written and even further back when God promised Abraham that he would be a blessing to the nations. This is what the church needs to be. This is what Paul was talking about when he says, “This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” This is the church. Jesus has already died to make a way for all peoples no matter race, ethnicity, nationality, culture, or any other division to be in fellowship with one another. Let’s make the decision to live in step with God’s plan.

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