As a young college student, I lost my wallet at a concert. This would not have been a major issue except for the fact that my wallet contained my driver’s license, social security card, and my birth certificate! This made it very difficult to prove my identity to get any of these documents replaced.
Psalm 87 reminds us that God keeps official documents, and we do not have to worry about these getting lost. He keeps a “register of the peoples” (v. 6), likely the same book referred to in other parts of Scripture as the Book of Life (Ex. 32:32; Isa. 4:3). What is surprising in this psalm is who is on that list.
The Psalmist declares, “All the nations you have made will come and worship before you” (86:9). This theme continues in Psalm 87, which reads like a prophetic oracle. In verses 1 to 3, the poet heaps praise on Jerusalem. He declares that the Lord loves the city in a unique way. Indeed, the holy of holies in the Temple was the place where God’s presence resided.
The Psalmist looks ahead to a day when people from all over the world would join with Israel. People from major superpowers like Rahab (another name for Egypt) and Babylon will stream to Zion along with people from Philistia, Tyre, and Cush (v. 4), worshipers from every tribe, nation, and language. While maintaining their identity as Gentiles, they will worship the God of Israel. This psalm will find its fulfillment in the return of Christ when those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life come into the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:22–27).
>> Is your name written in the Book of Life? Have you made a decision to follow Jesus as your Lord and Savior? This is not a fairytale, pie in the sky hope, but a future that God has promised and is our confident expectation (Heb. 6:19).
Today we pray for those who stand on the cusp of salvation. Holy Savior, reveal Yourself to them in all Your mercy, love, and holiness. Lead them to surrender control, repent, and live in the lasting joy of knowing You.