The glorious city of God called Zion in Psalm 87:2 and 5, and declared in verse 3 to be a city of which glorious things are spoken, has in it people who might seem to belong outside of it and far from it. Psalm 87:4 states,"I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me behold Philistia and Tyre with Ethiopia; this man was born there." Another name for Rahab is Egypt. Thus here we have listed some of the nations that were the fiercest enemies of the kingdom of Israel, the unbelieving nations round about the land of Canaan where the church stood until the day of Pentecost. Yet we read that many from these Gentile nations were born in Zion.
Egypt was to the west and south of Canaan, Babylon was to the east, Tyre to the north, and Ethiopia to the far south, while the inhabitants of Philistia lived right there in Canaan; and Israel had to take their land away. Yet in the wonder of God's grace — and we can see that clearly today -- God brought into the church people from other nations than the seed of Abraham. He has a universal church with people from every nation, tongue, and tribe. In fact today there are more members in Christ's church from people outside of the Jewish race than in it.
Sovereignly, that is, with a perfect right, and a power that cannot be challenged, God eternally chose who would be citizens in Zion. As our versification has it:
Heathen lands and hostile people
Soon shall come the Lord to know;
Nations born again in Zion
Shall the Lord's salvation know:
God almighty shall on Zion strength bestow.
Did you note that the text ascribes it all to God? In evey sense the church from Adam onward is the city of God, the city He brought forth. The city is glorious because glorious things are spoken of God Who designed it and brought it into being in His Son.
Read: Revelation 5
Psalter versification: #238:2
Meditations on the Heidelberg Catechism
Through the Bible in One Year
I Samuel 15
I Samuel 16
Quote for Reflection:
“One Christian conversing with another is a means to confirm him. As the stones in an arch help to strengthen one another, so one Christian by imparting his experience, heats and quickens another. " Let us provoke one another to love, and to good works " (Heb. 10:24). How does grace flourish by holy conference! A Christian by good discourse drops that oil upon another, which makes the lamp of his faith burn the brighter.” --Thomas Watson