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Singing Psalm 87 you can picture the chosen family

Singing Psalm 87 you can picture the chosen family in unity

We like to elect, to choose who will govern us. As God made us in His image, when singing Psalm 87, you get a glimpse of God‘s joy in choosing his people. You don’t ultimately get to choose who rules over you, but the one who’s over you chooses you.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one in this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing;

“But I have called your friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.” ~ John 15:12-17

God chose the nation of Israel as his people to be a beacon of light that would draw all peoples to himself. When singing Psalm 87, it is clear that though Israel was his foundation, his chosen family, “He loves the gates of Zion more than homes where Jacob dwells.”

Singing Psalm 87, you get to share in the triune God’s delight in choosing people from all nations, even from those nations who were the enemies of Israel. He takes delight in restoring whoever was wrong and making them right with him. This gives us hope since we are wrong a lot.

If this is the way God chooses to act, with steadfast love and compassion, those who follow him will ask for a heart that loves God and neighbors more and more. You will ask for a heart like your God who forgives and restores relationships.

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” ~ 2 Corinthians 8:9

Paul writes in the 9th chapter of Romans that God‘s choosing is not based on anything you do, who you are, or where you are from. It is based solely on who God is. God is love. He chooses to turn enemies into friends and make them his chosen family.

What was Israel’s response to Jesus’ powerful miracle in raising Lazarus from the dead? Their leaders sought to arrest him.

“Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?” ~ Ezekiel 33:11

O LORD,

  • Would you build bridges of friendship and break down the dividing walls of hostility that remain in the hearts of your people toward those from different places and backgrounds?

  • Would you melt away the entitlement that remains in the hearts of your people that allows those who live well to justify their lack of concern when their brothers and sisters from different places and backgrounds lack opportunities to work and live life well on this earth? 

  • Would you replace that entitlement with a righteous outrage that brings their plight before you as if it were their own?

  • Would you provide opportunities to be a good neighbor to oppressed brothers and sisters to relieve their oppression? 

  • Would you snuff out smug complacency that we would not, as your servant, James, warned us, “make distinctions among ourselves and become judges with evil thoughts” and instead breathe compassion into the hearts of your people?

  • Would you make it so that your holy name is lifted up in the hearts and minds and mouths of your people in all the nations?

  • It is good for your people to know that You are the LORD, the Holy One in Israel, over all your creation, set apart, and unifying your people from every nation, culture, and background.

Singing Psalm 87 you can picture the chosen family in diversity

Jesus reconciled Jews and Gentiles by breaking down their dividing wall of hostility through the cross. His chosen family gets the ultimate breakthrough from hatred in division to unity in diversity. 

O LORD, would you build bridges of friendship and break down what remains of the dividing walls of hostility in the hearts of your people toward those from different places, cultures, and backgrounds?

“Through him [Jesus] we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.” ~ Ephesians 2:18

The triune God is a model of unity in diversity. There are three distinct persons in the one Godhead. The Father and the Son, Jesus, pour out the Holy Spirit on those the triune God will call his people among all of those he made in his image.

Singing Psalm 87 your focus is not so much on where you were born, but the fact that from before the beginning of time, each of God‘s people, no matter where they were born physically, were born in Zion.

Their home from everlasting to everlasting is in the new heavens and the new earth as God’s chosen family. As the Lord lists each citizen, those who would, sing, “My springs are found in you.”

Singing Psalm 87, each one of God’s people understand from this that all things flow from the triune God. 

No matter your place of origin, culture, or the color of your skin, God is your all in all, the fountain of living water who guides you by his Holy Spirit wherever he would lead you as his chosen family member. 

No matter how long or winding your journey, your destination is glorious as part of God’s chosen family, filled with the God of peace and joy and love.

The covenant of grace burns through residual biases as people from all nations hear his call for friendship. The Lord makes mention of the lands where these friends know him from abroad. He even lists each citizen noting that though one might have been born in Philistia, Egypt, Babylon, Tyre, or Ethiopia, “Of Zion it will be declared: ‘each one was born in her.’“

Singing Psalm 87 you cannot help but think of Revelation 21 where the apostle John writes that he saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, Zion, coming down out of heaven from God prepared as a bride dressed for her husband. 

This is the place where God‘s chosen family will live with him as their God. They will finally be home where they belong as God’s chosen family. His care for them will be new, no longer including any mourning, crying, pain, or insecurity – no more comparisons or one-upmanship because the former things will have passed away.

Knowing this is true, that we look forward to the chosen family in the new heavens and the new earth filled with people from all nations who love one another from the heart, how ought we that are on our way there to live with one another now?

“Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.” ~ Hebrews 13:13-14

Of Zion it will be declared:“Each one was born in her.“Behold, the Most High will Himself Establish her secure. ~ Psalm 87:5

November 6-11, 2022


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