Scripture reading – Psalm 87

The title of Psalm 87 is “A Psalm or Song for the Sons of Korah.” Who were the “sons of Korah?” They were of the priestly tribe of Levi and descended from the lineage of Kohath, one of three sons of Levi (the others being Gershon and Merari). The Kohathite’s duties were sacred, for they were assigned the care of the Tabernacle furnishings, including the Ark, the lampstand, tables, the altar, and the curtains.

Psalm 87 was one of several psalms assigned to the “sons of Korah,” who not only served as musicians for worship but became the guards or gatekeepers of the Tabernacle in David’s day (1 Chronicles 9:19-21). The psalm’s time or occasion is unknown; however, I believe it had prophetic implications.

The City of Zion Favored (Psalm 87:1-6)

The psalm’s focus was Zion (Psalm 87:2), the mountain range where Jerusalem and the Temple were built. We read that the LORD laid the “foundation” for worship on the mountains of Zion, and it was the place He loved “more than all the dwellings of Jacob” (Psalm 87:2). Of Zion, the city of Jerusalem, we read, “3Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah” (Psalm 87:3).

The glory of Jerusalem was that it was the place of worship for Israel. Prophetically, John saw “the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven,” where Christ will reign (Revelation 21:2-3).

The City of Zion Exalted (Psalm 87:4-6)


Various nations are mentioned in Psalm 87:4, and it is noted that men boasted in the city of their birth. One man would boast he had been born in Rahab (Egypt, Isaiah 30:7), another in Babylon. Other men would boast that Philistia, Tyre, or Ethiopia was their birthplace (Psalm 87:4).


Sincere believers, those born again by faith (John 3:3, 16), will boast in eternity that they are citizens of Zion, for the LORD, “the highest himself shall establish her [Jerusalem, the city of Zion]” (Psalm 87:5). If you are a believer, your citizenship is established in New Jerusalem by salvation! Indeed, when the LORD takes the final census, He will count the souls of the redeemed and say to believers, “This man was born there.” (Psalm 87:6).


Closing thoughts:


With the final census taken (Revelation 20:12-14), and the judgment of those whose names were “not found written in the book of life” past (Revelation 20:15), new Jerusalem will “come down from God out of heaven” (Revelation 21:2).  We read of that glorious day that “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4).


What a great day that will be! Christ will sit on His throne in Jerusalem, and “the singers as the players on instruments shall be there: All my springs [i.e., the fountains of living water] are in thee” (Psalm 87:7).


Friend, is your name written in “The Book of Life?” When the final census is taken, will you be able to say of Jerusalem where the LORD will reign, “I was born (again) there?” (Psalm 87:6)

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith


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