Dr. Jerry A. Collins


Putting up and tearing down statutes has been part of American history since the beginning. In 1776 NYC patriots publicly read the Declaration of Independence in front of a King George statute that they afterward tore down, melted, and used to make bullets for the revolution. The British defeated Washington’s army in NY, then vandalized a statute of William Pitt tearing off its head and arms. Pitt was a pro-American British politician. Both statutes had been erected in 1770. For believers, its important to remember our primary allegiance is to God’s eternal kingdom. American history has nothing like the eternal significance of this truth from Gods Word. Psalm 87 focuses on the glorious city of God which will become the center of life for all of the redeemed as fulfillment of God’s divine plan for Zion.



His foundation is in the holy mountains. The Lord loves the gates of Zion. More than all the other dwelling places of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God. Selah (verses 1-3). Here we have a faithful report of many glorious aspects of the Lord’s eternal dwelling place. First, he announces that the cities foundation is in the holy mountains v 1. God set the foundation of the sanctuary city amongst the hills surrounding Jerusalem. The foundation was planted on mountains of holiness amplifying this place as the existence of the holy tabernacle. What made this location holy was that God chose it as His dwelling place amongst His people. Now it would forever be set apart as that sacred place.


Then, the Psalmist adds the Lord loves the gates of Zion v 2. The description loves include the idea that God chose Jerusalem and has a fond affection for that place. We should want to know what it is God loves. This love is intertwined with His founding of this city. His love has remained constant. The specific object of that love is the gates of Zion. The use of Zion is Jerusalem associated Davidic monarchy and its promises. This poetic substitution for the entire city is meant to acknowledge the city as the center of social, economic, and legal activity. Its was through those gates that commerce and festivities would bring life and vitality to the inhabitants. Gates were more than passageways. They served as places for personal business and civic affairs (see Ruth 4:1).


Gates often took their names from the distant cities they faced, like Jaffa, Damascus, and Shechem. In Nehemiah 3 we have the sheep gate (v 1); fish gate (v 3); old gate (v 6); valley gate (v 12); dung gate (v 13-14); fountain gate (v 15); water gate (v 26); and horse gate (v 28). In the New Jerusalem there will be 12 gates it had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel… and the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl (Revelation 21:12, 21). The New Jerusalem will apparently be bustling with activity. Jerusalem was the place of God’s choosing and affection—which made the place special. So much so, that he loves this more than all the other dwelling places of Jacob. Those other places included Gilgal, Bethel, and Shiloh, but God had not chosen any of those religious cultic centers. God chose this one, this place, Jerusalem, as his eternal dwelling place (Psalm 132:12-14).


Basking in this reality, we read about this beloved city glorious things are spoken of you v 3. These glorious things would include all exploits within its walls that attested to the divine presence there. The worship. The sacrifices. The offerings. The rituals. Actually, the glory of the city is that it is the center of worship of the Lord God Almighty and hence is called city of God. Great things are yet to come for this city as noted in verses 4-6. There will be the fulfillment of all of the prophetic promises made for Zion. People are speaking glorious things about Zion. So Jerusalem, Zion, is the place where God founded the holy city. It is the place of Gods affection. It is the center of worship in history and in the world yet to come. It is where glorious things are witnessed and proclaimed.

            Application: Jerusalem is destined for eternal greatness. It does not belong to the             Muslims or Christians or even the Jews. It belongs to God. And God’s plan is to make             Jerusalem the center of the worlds life and worship.



"I shall mention Rahab and Babylon among those who know Me; Behold, Philistia and Tyre with Ethiopia: 'This one was born there.’ “But of Zion it shall 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 (verses 4-6). It is the faithful who recount how people from all nations are drawn to the Lord’s dwelling place, Zion, and join those who are there. God makes mention [of] Rahab and Babylon among those who know Me v 4. To know the Lord like this is to believe Him and then acknowledge, worship, and obey the Lord.


God announces that even large numbers of Israel’s enticers like Rahab, a poetic name for Egypt as a proud one, the meaning of Rahab (Psalm 89:10; Isaiah 30:7) will enter and reside in Zion. Israel’s oppressors like Babylon or other troublers like Philistia and Tyre with Ethiopia will take their place amongst its inhabitants. They will all participate by faith in the worship of the Lord (Isaiah 19:19-25). Physically they may have been born abroad but as converts they became citizens of Zion as if native born 'this one was born there.’ These are not Jews returning from the diaspora, but gentiles included in the faith—even hostile enemies in the past.


The Psalmist tells us that this city will have its own reputation “but of Zion it shall be said” v 5. Ever increasing numbers of people will then be birthed in the city from every nation who then become incorporated as her children "this one and that one were born in her". In other words, people would take pride in having been born in Zion as they did in having been born in one of these other great nations. That will be true in the Millennium when Christ rules. The city will be the global capital and its population bustles. Not all birthed there will be believers, of course, but the reputation of the city will be such that it will encourage its citizens to proclaim this. Eventually in the eternal city of Zion, that New Jerusalem, all redeemed will pronounce it as the eternal city of God due to their faith in Christ when the Most High Himself will establish her forever (Isaiah 54:1-2; 65:18-24).


The Psalmist provides another image of the Lord taking a census of the people in His city the Lord will count when He registers the people’s v 6. The most glorious thing that God can record about people is not their contribution to history or culture as only the world can today of its icons. God will record the fact that "this one was born there."  Born into the family of God and are citizens of the eternal Zion, the city where God has placed his greatest affection. As God takes this census these words "his one was born there" is repeated again and again as He enters each convert into the registry of His city (Malachi 3:16; Exodus 32:32-33). This is the glory of Zion. In history many Gentiles came to faith in Israel’s God and many became proselytes. They came from a variety of places and from many ethnicities. In this day, they will also be born there as citizens.

Application: Since our destiny is Gods eternal holy city, we should then stay focused on that eventual destination as our only secure home and residence. We have no business meddling within the affairs of this world.



Then those who sing as well as those who play the flutes shall say, "All my springs of joy are in you." (verse 7). It will be a place where both those who sing as well as those who play the will reside. Joy and singing in the future city of Zion. All those who rejoice will trace the

source of their joy to this city because it is the habitation of God. God is associated with joy and joyfulness. The image of festivity, abundance and sustenance is articulated by, "All my springs of joy are in you." Springs were a source of life in the desert areas. Jerusalem had no bodies of water, but a natural spring that sustained the populace. The idea seems to be that in the city will be joyfulness due to the fact that provision for life, both physically and spiritually, will be abundant. God is the source of both and believers will be nurtured and nourished upon Gods gracious provisions forever. As a result, in the city of God they sing and dance in celebration of the gift of life!

Application: In Revelation 21-22 John receives a vision of this glorious city in Gods eternal kingdom coming down from heaven in glorious brilliance of every precious stone. The main street pure gold like transparent glass. A river of water clear as crystal originating from Gods throne through the middle of the city with the tree of life constantly producing. The city of lit by the glory of God. The one who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen!

Come, Lord Jesus! So this is our destiny. Remember it. Revel in it. Focus upon it.


·                     From the very beginning it was Gods plan to make his holy city the spiritual center of      the faith and worship. Satan has antagonized Jerusalem knowing of Gods plan.

·                     There is only one God and one dwelling place. The only way into it is through faith in             Jesus for the gift of eternal life.  

·                     For those who are citizens of this eternal destiny, the prospects of celebration and joy     are everlasting for us.