Psalms Study – Psa 87:1-7 Rejoicing In Hope…

Psalms 87:1-7 “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer” (Rom 12:12)

Psa 87:1 A Psalm or Song for the sons of Korah. His foundation is in the holy mountains.
Psa 87:2 The LORD loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
Psa 87:3 Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah.
Psa 87:4 I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there.
Psa 87:5 And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her.
Psa 87:6 The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah.
Psa 87:7 As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there: all my springs are in thee.

This week’s title reflects what God’s people are blessed to develop in their lives so that they can become “His foundation is in the holy mountains” spoken of in verse one.

In verse 2 we see Jacob as representing the elect who God loves (Mal 1:2, Rom 9:13), and has been/is being made the apple of His eye (Psa 17:8, Zec 2:8). Jacob or the elect are the “gate” that will lead to the salvation of the rest of the world (Oba 1:21) and God has set His love on us as a kind of first fruits so that this can be accomplished (Rom 11:16, Deu 18:4, Jas 1:18).

It is Zion whom God loves more than “all the dwellings of Jacob”, where these ‘dwellings’ represent the world out of which God’s people are called (Rev 18:4, Act 16:18, Eph 6:12). To confirm this point of where we all come from, God makes mention of “Rahab and Babylon” and of “Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia”, where we are born and originate.

From start to finish, this Psalm talks about the glorious work of the church, the body of Christ (Col 1:24), and how this “city of God” (Gal 4:26, Mat 5:14) will shine brightly for all the world to see, and it will give the world great pause “Selah” to stop and look and discern what God has done and how His righteousness was formed in this city (Mal 3:18, Jon 4:11, Eze 44:23, Mat 25:32).

One of the hardest lessons we have to learn, and the world will learn, is that God is the only one who can “establish her” (“her” being Zion). She is clothed in fine linen or the righteousness of the saints that God forms within “her”/us, through the purifying process that has been granted His people (Rev 19:8).

In this study we will look more closely at that purifying process and how our merciful Father brings us to a place of “rejoicing in hope; [and being] patient in tribulation; [and] continuing instant in prayer” (our title and Rom 12:12).

The “righteousness of the saints” is formed by the Master Potter, and here are some verses before we start our study that remind us of what it takes to form the “righteousness of the saints” which is “of the saints”.

First, let us look at how God has declared that “the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints ” who are a many membered body (1Co 12:12), who have come to greatly fear and reverence God through this life which humbles us under His mighty hand (Psa 10:17, Jas 4:10).

Dan 7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

Psa 89:7 God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.

And here are more of the healthy signs of God working in His people, in the church, in the body “of the saints”:

Mat 27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, (dying daily to be raised in heavenly places 1Co 15:31, Eph 2:6).

1Co 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

1Co 16:15 I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)

2Co 9:12 For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;

Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (2Pe 3:18).

Col 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be (Eph 1:11) partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: (2Ti 2:21, Rev 19:7).

Phm 1:7 For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother (Php 2:1-2).

Rev 8:4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand (1Th 5:17).

Rev 13:10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus (Rom 12:12).

Rev 17:6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. [our blood, which is the word of God that is typified by the precious blood of Christ (1Pe 1:19), is being sanctified (Joh 17:17) as we are purified in this life of much tribulation, whereas Babylon — where we come from and are coming out of — is unstable and drunk on that “blood of the martyrs of Jesus” because all she can do at this time is wrap His words around the idols of her heart. We are sacrificed for the world and our witness of martyrdom of the true gospel of Jesus Christ which tells us to lay down our life is what makes the woman, the churches of this world, the woman drunken with the blood (Rev 11:3)].

Rev 20:9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. [the end result of the witness of the saints is spoken of in this verse where the camp is compassed Rev 20:9, and is also mentioned in this parallel verse found in (Rev 11:7).

Psa 87:1 A Psalm or Song for the sons of Korah. His foundation is in the holy mountains.

Our prayer for his saints is that we can continue to rejoice always in the Lord and know that it is through Christ that we can be “rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer” (of Rom 12:12 and our title), and again I say rejoice as Paul says.

Php 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
Php 4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Php 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Straight away we are reminded that this song is a “song for the sons of Korah” which is where we come from, and where we must die and go into the earth (Num 16:1-3, Num 16:4-16, Num 16:17-34) in order to come out and become that holy seed that will become “His foundation in the holy moutains”.

I’ve separated these verses of Numbers 16 to show three distinct parts that demonstrate in the end that the world (within and without) does not want to be swallowed up by the earth as stated in (Num 16:34), which parallels (Exo 20:18-19):

Num 16:34 And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also.

Exo 20:18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.
Exo 20:19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die [In other words, we would rather remain under the law for the lawless (1Ti 1:9) than have to die daily and go on to perfection via the law of Christ (Gal 6:2)] (this is what keeps the world in that drunken spiritual state we talked about earlier)].

In the first three verses of Numbers 16 the heart of man is being revealed which is the wrong and faulty foundation that we all start off on and must be destroyed as this story will go on to demonstrate:

Num 16:1 Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men:
Num 16:2 And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown: Num 16:3 And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then [why then] lift ye up yourselves above the congregation (Rev 12:5, Eph 2:6) of the LORD?

The answer to that type and shadow question, is that it is the Lord who raises us up for their sakes, and the patience and the faith of the saints is what is needed to endure until the end through Jesus Christ. It is in that raised up position that we can continue to be “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer”.

The next verses are critical to helping us understand what it is that makes the events that are unfolding in Moses’ life as a type and shadow of that which is “of the saints”, and that is stated in verse 28 where Moses says “Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works”: Hereby we know that we are of the Lord because we believe that we must live by every word of God and go into the ‘earth, earth, earth’ of (Jer 22:29) like Korah and then, by the grace and faith of Jesus Christ, “come out of her my people” (Eph 2:8).

Num 16:28 And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind.
Num 16:29 If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the LORD hath not sent me.
Num 16:30 But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD.
Num 16:31 And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them:
Num 16:32 And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods.
Num 16:33 They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation.

The third section of Numbers chapter 16 parallels what we talked about in our last study where two distinct groups are discussed in the parable of the ten virgins. God shows us that there is a separation taking place between the congregation and Korah, Dathan, and Abiram in this instance (Num 16:24), and the imagery and use of censers is used to make this point evident regarding the parable of the ten virgins.

There is judgment that leads to death, and there is judgment that leads to life, and God shows us through all these stories that it is not enough to have the words of life as honey in the mouth (Eze 3:3-5), or coals (Isa 6:6) just sitting in that censer not kindled, rather they must be heated, burning and destroying everything that breathes within us which is contrary to sound doctrine. The heated coals are the same as the bitterness that must be in the belly of all of God’s people to give us those bowels of mercy which unite us with the same mind of Christ (Rev 10:10, Php 2:1).

Num 16:17 And take every man his censer, and put incense in them, and bring ye before the LORD every man his censer, two hundred and fifty censers; thou also, and Aaron, each of you his censer.
Num 16:18 And they took every man his censer, and put fire in them, and laid incense thereon, and stood in the door of the tabernacle of the congregation with Moses and Aaron.
Num 16:19 And Korah gathered all the congregation against them unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the congregation.
Num 16:20 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
Num 16:21 Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.
Num 16:22 And they fell upon their faces, and said, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation?
Num 16:23 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Num 16:24 Speak unto the congregation, saying, Get you up from about the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.
Num 16:25 And Moses rose up and went unto Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him.
Num 16:26 And he spake unto the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins.
Num 16:27 So they gat up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children.
Num 16:28 And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works (1Co 11:19); for I have not done them of mine own mind.
Num 16:29 If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the LORD hath not sent me. (to die the common death is to die in our sins (Joh 8:24), and to die the death to which God calls the elect is to come out of the earth, earth, earth by dying daily – Jer 22:29, 1Co 15:31).
Num 16:30 But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD. (The “new thing” is the day of our visitation; the judgment that comes upon all those with whom the Lord is working in this age – Luk 19:44.)
Num 16:31 And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them:
Num 16:32 And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods.
Num 16:33 They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation.
Num 16:34 And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also.

Psa 87:2 The LORD loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.

I took some time with verse 1 to demonstrate what God is doing to create a foundation through the body of Christ that is a hidden foundation from the world and one that will one day manifest to all the world in a moment and in the twinkling of an eye (1Co 15:52, Isa 66:8, Oba 1:21).

The fear of the Lord is something God is developing within us, and if He loves us in this age (Rom 9:13), we will inevitably be experiencing that love in the form of chastening and scourging (Heb 12:6, Heb 6:4-9). It is that chastening and scourging which keeps us on the narrow path of knowing that it is His righteousness alone which can accomplish the work within us and does build the true foundation which is being laid for all the world with Christ as the chief cornerstone (Eph 2:20).

We read in Ezekiel (Eze 18:24) the witness to the verses in Hebrews 6:4-9 that are there for God’s people to be admonished and to heed in this age. Again, if God loves us, He is seeing to it we are drinking that cup of judgment of which we must be partakers if we are going to go on to perfection on the third day (Eze 18:24 in them shall he die the common death we spoke of Joh 8:24, Pro 24:16, Luk 13:32).

Eze 18:24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.

Heb 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
Heb 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
Heb 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
Heb 6:7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
Heb 6:8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.
Heb 6:9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.

Psa 87:3 Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah.

This is a humbling declaration of what God is able to do through His people as we go from glory to glory as His city set on a hill (2Co 3:18 ASV, Mat 5:14).

2Co 3:16 But whensoever it shall turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
2Co 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
2Co 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit. (ASV)

Mat 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid.

Having faces which are unveiled is symbolic language that tells us we no longer establish our own righteousness through the law, but rather through Jesus Christ (Rom 10:3, 1Ti 1:9, Gal 6:2).

Psa 87:4 I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there.

In this verse we are reminded from where we come and how it is by the grace of God that we are born there and then able to come out of her my people [Rahab-Babylon-Philistia-Tyre-Ethiopia] and endure until the end as the “not many noble” brethren, the weak of the world (2Co 6:17, 1Co 1:26) God uses to show that this is a work which is being accomplished, all to the glory of God (Rom 11:36) who is working all things according to the counsel of His will (Eph 1:11).

RahabH7294 (Jos 2:1-4). We are hidden in Babylon who is likened to a harlot while we are in the court, and God does not forget her kindnesses (Heb 11:31). The two men who spy the land represent Christ or the two witnesses or Joshua and Caleb, and the dream is one (Gen 41:25), as we all must go into Babylon to come out of her, which represents the world of sin within our members, that Christ himself had to come out of and why we are told that God’s son comes out of Egypt (1Jn 4:17, Hos 11:1).

1Jn 4:17 Herein is love made perfect with us, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, even so are we in this world.

Hos 11:1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.

BabylonH894 We must go into Babylon to ‘come out of her my people’, and Babylon represents the world which we come out of (2Co 6:17).

PhilistiaH6429 (Isa 14:29). We are being told in Isa 14:29 that God is going to raise seraphim (Rev 4:8) out of those who start off with Satan being their father.

Isa 14:29 Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent’s root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent.

Rev 4:8 And the four living creatures, having each one of them six wings, are full of eyes round about and within: and they have no rest day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.

TyreH6865 (Zec 9:3-4) Tyre is where we become rich in the word but cannot properly discern the true gospel, as we make merchandise of our brothers at this time, buying and selling the truth as we try to make disciples by our own power in the sea of humanity, not truly fishers of men yet. We live out the parable of the rich young ruler in Tyre who cannot sell all that he thinks he has and come and follow Christ (Rev 18:11-13, Mat 19:21).

EthiopiaH3568 Cush – (Gen 10:8, Isa 11:11)

Gen 10:8 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.

Isa 11:11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord will set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people (Jdg 1:12), that shall remain, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.

Ethiopia is connected to Egypt which is connected to Babylon, and Isaiah is a token or sign against Egypt and Ethiopia, walking three years naked and barefoot, who witnessed to the fact that God saw Egypt and Ethiopia as being spiritually unclothed.

In Isa 11:11 we are reminded of the process that we all must go through to be twice plucked upH3568 (Jdg 1:12) before we can truly come to know the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

Isa 20:3 And the LORD said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia;

Isa 20:5 And they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation, and of Egypt their glory.

Psa 87:5 And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her.

Psa 87:5 Yea, of Zion it shall be said, This one and that one was bornH3205 in her; And the Most High himself will establish her. (ASV)

We are chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be a little flock that is holy and without blemish before him in love (Eph 1:4, Luk 12:32). God in has already determined that we be “born in her”, “Zion”, and boasting therefore is excluded by the law of faith which makes what God has determined possible (Rom 3:27, Heb 12:2). It is “the Highest Himself [who] shall establish (Exo 23:20, Gen 41:32, Isa 62:7, 1Ch 16:30) her”.

BornH3205 in her” is used 526 times in the KJV with that sense of being born or begotten, and is also very significantly noted three times as “midwife” in Gen 35:17, Gen 38:28 and Exo 1:16.

We understand the “travail” as painful, again confirming that it is not without the hope found in the title of our study (Rom 12:12) and so many other verses that are meant to coach and encourage us along that narrow Way (Joh 16:21).

Psa 87:6 The LORD shall count, when he writeth upH3789 the people, that this man was born there. Selah.

All our days are numbered or counted and written in His book (Psa 139:16), and “he writeth upH3789 the people” and is doing this to witness to the world the workmanship of His hands (Eph 2:10).

Here are some verses that describe what God has written up for His people:

Job 13:26 For thou writestH3789 bitter things against me, and makest me to possess the iniquities of my youth.

Deu 31:22 Moses therefore wroteH3789 this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel.

Hab 2:2 And the LORD answered me, and said, WriteH3789 the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.

Pro 7:3 Bind them upon thy fingers, writeH3789 them upon the table of thine heart.

Jer 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and writeH3789 it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Psa 87:7 As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there: all my springsH4599 are in thee.

God reassures us that this body is well equipped with each joint supplying what is needed to accomplish the work that He has set before us (Eph 4:16). There are “singers as the players on instruments” and that speaks of a mindset of rejoicing and being thankful for this high calling in the Lord (Php 3:14).

The “springs”H4599 that God calls us to are spoken of in type and shadow in the old covenant as the fountainsH4599 of the deep that are broken up in (Gen 7:11), as we are bruised and broken for the world so that it can become as it was in the days of Noah, with the entire earth being flooded by those springs or fountains (Mat 24:37, Hab 2:14) that will bring forth the living waters that will fill the earth and be a starting point of baptism just as the Israelites of old came under the cloud of witness, or like John the baptist who baptized with water and then the Lord with fire (Heb 12:1, 1Co 10:2).

H4599
– Definition:
1. spring
– Origin: from H5869 as a denominative in the sense of a spring) – TWOT entry: 1613a
– Part(s) of speech: Noun Masculine
– Strong’s: From H5869 (as a denominative in the sense of a spring); a fountain (also collectively) figuratively a source (of satisfaction): – fountain spring well.

Total KJV Occurrences: 23

•fountain, 9
Lev_11:36; Jos_15:9; Psa_74:15; Psa_114:8; Pro_25:26; Son_4:12; Son_4:15; Hos_13:15; Joe_3:18

•fountains, 7
Gen_7:11; Gen_8:2; 1Ki_18:5; 2Ch_32:4; Pro_5:16; Pro_8:24; Isa_41:18

•springs, 2
Psa_87:7; Psa_104:10

•well, 2
Jos_18:15; Psa_84:6

•wells, 3
2Ki_3:19; 2Ki_3:25; Isa_12:3

The world will once again come under that cloud of witness which will rule with a rod of iron (Rev 2:27); a people who will be prepared through that experience for the great white throne judgment in the lake of fire that will save all mankind (Rev 20:15, 1Co 15:22)…

Isa 12:3 … Rom_12:12
Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wellsH4599 of salvation. Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer…

 

[Questions or comments can be directed to the author at anthocul@sympatico.ca]

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