If you’d like to join us in our journey reading all the way through the Bible this year, drop me a line at email@example.com, and I’ll be glad to email back a copy of the reading plan we are using.
Life as we know it now, has the Christian with a foot in two worlds: Our present existence in whatever nation, state, province, city or other environ; and, our citizenship in the Heavenlies in Christ. Two overlapping circles which sometimes collide and sometimes seem less in tension. But make no mistake, we owe and pledge allegiance to one above the other. We may dwell here right now, but as Philippians 3:20 notes:
Psalm 87 is a call to Believers to remember their national pride in being citizens of the New Jerusalem. A reality easily lost when the noise of this present world rises to a deafening pitch.
That’s our focus today on Through the Word in 2020 – I’m Reid Ferguson.
A curious phenomenon has arisen in our day – a virtual global attempt to make national pride something shameful, something to be discarded. The why’s or wherefore’s behind this present trend really don’t concern me. The World always has its reasons behind its trends and movements, and they are not always easily discernable. But one thing is for certain in Psalm 87 – Those who know God, ought to treasure and take great pride in the Kingdom He has established, and the citizenship which is afforded us through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
Prizing the wonder of being citizens of the City of God is what this Psalm is all about. And shame on us when we fail to rightly assess and prize this wondrous citizenship and contemplate all that it provides for us.
For the Believer, our current status is that we are “strangers and exiles on the earth.” (Heb. 11:13) Resident aliens. So while here, we seek to be a blessing everywhere Providence finds us – but ought to have a continual longing to be home with Christ. To be like Bunyan’s Pilgrim – always en route to the Celestial City. To be singing with the Saints those marvelous strains of John Newton taken from this very passage – a hymn we sang together just this past Sunday in worship:
“Glorious things of Thee are spoken, Zion, City of our God.
He, whose word cannot be broken, Formed Thee for His own abode.
On the Rock of Ages founded, what can shake Thy sure repose?
With salvation’s walls surrounded, Thou may’st smile at all Thy foes.”
I wonder if our present panic in the midst of the Corona Virus Crises isn’t at least in part fueled by our lack of thoughtful pride and anticipation of our final home? That we fail to remember this earthly Kingdom, every earthly kingdom, is destined by God to crumble under the weight of its sin-corruption and in the last give way to the manifest Kingdom of Christ? And so, we in fact have lost the sense of being “with salvation’s walls surrounded” so that we may truly smile at all our foes?
Our citizenship is in Heaven Beloved. We are indeed strangers in a strange land. One where we ought not to expect the righteous rule of Christ to be evident except in the hearts, minds and lives of those who are indwelt by His Spirit.
While people all around us grouse, gripe, complain and condemn – tell them with pride of your home town – Zion, the city of your God. With pride in its perfections, seek to lure them away to where Christ is King in all of His glory. To where singers and dancers alike say: “All my springs are in you.”
Let that soak into your soul today Christian.
God bless. And God willing, we’ll be back tomorrow.