The Habitation of God
Psalm 87:1-7
His foundation is in the holy mountains.…

This psalm is true, whether we apply it -

I. TO ISRAEL OF OLD, God's ancient people. That the writer had them in his mind, there can be no doubt, whatever other applications we may make of his words. Like the other psalms "for the sons of Korah," it most probably belongs to the days of Hezekiah. The sons of Korah were the keepers of those "gates" which in this psalm, as in Psalm 84., they celebrate; and the triumph of which they tell harmonizes with the glowing predictions of Israel as to the spiritual power and supremacy of Israel.

1. This psalm speaks of the proud position of Zion, on the holy mountains, so elevated, sacred, secure.

2. Of the Divine delight in her. God was to be worshipped in all the dwellings of Jacob (see Leviticus 23:2); but his chief delight was in the united worship of all the people in his temple on Mount Zion, in the glorious feasts and festivals that were celebrated there.

3. Of her glorious hi story. It may have been, as some have supposed, that the psalm was sung at the public reception into the Jewish Church of a number of converts from heathen nations, and that, as our Lord saw in the coming of the Greeks to him (John 12.) the forerunners of the coming of all the Gentiles - yea, of "all men" - so the psalmist foresees the conversion of all the nations of whom he speaks to the Name of the Lord. And the change for them shall be so great that it shall be as a new birth; whatever their native country may have been, they were really "born" in Zion. And she shall produce many great and illustrious men. The word rendered "man" (ver. 5) denotes one of distinction and eminence, not an ordinary person. In the great day of manifestation and triumph of the people of God, the Lord himself shall own those born in Zion.

4. Of her great joy. The song and the dance and all kinds of mirth shall characterize her; she shall be a gladsome city.

II. TO THE CHURCH OF CHRIST. The psalm, read as part of the record of the Church, tells:

1. Of her foundation, which is Christ. He is the chief Cornerstone. "Other foundation can no man lay," etc.

2. Her position - in the holy mountains; that is, she is conspicuous - a city set on a hill, which cannot be hid; the mountain of the Lord's house, high and lifted up, visible from afar and on all sides. Secure, likewise, as a mountain fortress mightily defended. Has not the Church ever been so? And holy. This is her main characteristic; she could not be the Church of Christ without this.

3. The Lord's delight in her. She is the purchase of his blood, the subject of his care, the reason of his providential rule. He who toucheth her toucheth the apple of his eye.

4. The glorious things spoken of her. How all forms of hostility yield to her - Rahab, the proud; Babylon, the cruel; Philistia, the fierce; Tyre, the greedy of gain; Ethiopia, the degraded; - from all such she wins trophies for Christ. The Church's mission is to gather in all nations for him. And see the heroes of the faith that are "born" in her: what a glorious roll call that is? And the Lord himself shall attest all this. What is the Epistle to the Ephesians but a full declaration of what the Church of Christ shall be and do and enjoy? And other Scriptures declare the same. And the history of the Church is evermore confirming this word.

5. Her abiding gladness. Real religion is the most gladsome thing this side heaven; it is a never-failing spring of pure and elevating joy. Finally, this psalm may be applied to -

III. THE INDIVIDUAL BELIEVER. For he, too, is a habitation of God.

1. Founded on the one Foundation - Christ.

2. Is as a holy mountain - openly confessed, not hiding out of sight, secure in God, holy.

3. Is the object of Divine delight. God loves our natural life, but our spiritual life is that which he loves most - to foster and develop and save that is the meaning of all the disciplines, trials, and varied Divine dealings with us.

4. Glorious things are spoken of him. As to the past, all his guilt put away. As to the present, the hostile forces of the world - pride, cruelty, inward corruption, ever worrying the soul, as Philistia did Israel, the lusts of the world, the horde of degrading propensities - all these which war against the soul shall be subdued, and the varied powers they usurped shall be given to God. And as to the future, what hath God not promised for those who love him? And God will make such heart the means of blessing to many others, and will own what has been done.

5. And he willfill such heart with joy. - S.C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: {A Psalm or Song for the sons of Korah.} His foundation is in the holy mountains.

WEB: His foundation is in the holy mountains.

The Glory of the Church
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