Daily Family Worship

Psalm 87: The New Jerusalem Song

by | May 31, 2024

psalm 87

This Psalm is a prophecy concerning the Kingdom of Christ and His Church in times to come. The Psalmist, after the manner of the prophets, sets before us the future Jerusalem and Zion – as if it was represented in a painting before our eyes. Its boundaries are those of the world itself – reaching from east to west, and from north to south. In this Church, there are persons born of every nation, kingdom, tribe, and tongue: Ethiopians, Egyptians, Babylonians, Tyrians, Philistines, and so on. And they are not born into this Church by a natural birth, but by the Word of the Gospel. “Great, excellent, and glorious things shall be spoken and preached in thee, O city of God!” For the Gospel is a great and glorious doctrine – even the highest of all doctrines, for it is the Word of salvation. Hence Paul says, in Philippians 1:10, that the Gospel – in comparison with the Law – contains “the things that are excellent.” By the Gospel, we have the knowledge of the counsel and will of God given to us. In the Gospel, we are taught the manner in which the Lord is pacified toward sinners. We are shown how we are delivered from sin, from the power of the devil, and from everlasting death. And these are things which neither the Law nor any human philosophy could teach!

In the last verse, this Psalm most beautifully sets forth what the highest worship – under the New Testament – should be. “There shall be in thee,” says the Psalmist, “as the harmonious concert of those playing on instruments.” In other words, it is not the thunderous terrors of Moses and the Law that shall be taught in that city; but rather, the sweet and joyful message of the Gospel – even grace and the remission of sins by Jesus Christ – shall be preached by the ministry of the Word!

Lord Jesus, we praise You that the “glorious things” of the Gospel are preached in Your Church, for that is the excellent Word of salvation! We acknowledge the fact that – by nature – we were once far off from You; but we give thanks that we have been brought into the city of God by Your finished work, Lord Jesus. Thank You that we are privileged to be a part of the Church, Your spiritual Jerusalem; for therein are to be found the springs of true life, and the great depths of Your eternal love! Amen.

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