Grace for All Nations (Psalm 87:1–7) - Radical

Grace for All Nations (Psalm 87:1–7)

On the holy mount stands the city he founded; the Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob. Glorious things of you are spoken, o city of God. Among those who know me I mention Rahab and Babylon; behold, Philistia and Tyre, with Cush “This one was born there,” they say. And of Zion it shall be said, “This one and that one were born in her”; for the Most High himself will establish her. The Lord records as he registers the peoples, “This one was born there.” Singers and dancers alike say, “All my springs are in you.”
– Psalm 87:1–7

So here’s the picture. You may have missed it because it is a little hard to follow just hearing this Psalm.

Psalm 87:1–7 Expresses God’s Desire to Bring Salvation to the Gentiles

But basically in the first three verses, you see this picture of the temple, the gates of Zion in Jerusalem where God’s glory dwells among his people and glorious things are spoken of God in Jerusalem, in the temple, on the Holy Mount. And you get down to verse 7, even kind of bookends on the chapter, you see singers and dancers saying, “All my springs are in you.” It’s this picture of just the fountain of God’s goodness and glory that flows from the temple, from Jerusalem, from the place where God’s glory dwells among his people.

But not just his people. In the middle, so verse 4 through 6, we see reference to specific people. But listen to the description because it’s not like tribes in Israel that are mentioned here. It’s, “Among those who know me I mention Rayhab,” which is a picture of Egypt, Babylon, Philistia, Tyre, Cush. These were all gentile nations.

The whole picture, and you get to verse 6 is “The Lord records as he registers the peoples, ‘This one was born there.'” And the Psalm is a reminder that God’s glory is not just intended to flow among his people from Jerusalem, from Zion. God’s glory is intended to flow to all the nations, to spread to all the people’s. God knows where every single people group in the world is, who is born there, and God wants them all to know the springs of life that are found in him.

Psalm 87:1–7 Encourages Us to Pray for the Glory of God Among the Nations

This is an awesome Psalm, and it’s why we pray every day on this podcast for the spread of the grace and gospel and glory of God to all the nations of the earth, specifically to nations that are unreached by the springs that are found in the gospel. The life that’s found in Jesus.

We know the glory of God in our lives. And we have a relationship with God through Jesus. We experience the springs that flow from him, and God is telling us in his word, all over his word and in a place like this, in Psalm 87. I don’t just want you to know my springs. I want my springs, my grace, my love, my strength, my joy, my peace, my life to flow from you. You’re the temple of the Holy Spirit to all the nations of the earth. Go, Jesus and make disciples of all the nations that they all might speak glorious things of me because they all know my springs, my grace, my mercy. I know where all of them are born and I am calling you to reach them with the good news of my grace in my glory.

Praying for the Jola People

God, help us to live for this today. We pray for this today. God, we intercede today for the Jola people of Bangladesh, 1.37 million of them. No church known among them. God, we pray for the gospel to spread to the Jola people of Bangladesh. Please, oh God, use us, use our lives, our families, our churches, use the church near there. God, we pray. We intercede for them. Please, cause your springs to flow to the Jola people of Bangladesh. The disciples might be made, churches might be planted, the temples might be formed among the Jola people of Bangladesh that speak of your glory. God, we pray for that.

We pray for that and all the peoples of the world. As we read about Rahab and Babylon and Philistia and Tyre with Cush, God, we pray for thousands of people groups in the world. You know them. You know where each of the individuals in those people groups are born. God, 3 billion individuals who have little to no knowledge of the gospel. You register the peoples. You know their names. God, please cause the gospel to go to them and help us to wake up as your church and do all that you’re calling us to do to get the gospel to them.

Please, bless us for the spread of your springs to them, that the fruit of our lives, our families, our churches, as temples of your Holy Spirit, would be your glory, grace, and goodness, the gospel flowing to the nations from us. God, may it be so, we pray, according to your word in Psalm chapter 87. In Jesus name we pray, amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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