Missiology Through Scripture – Psalm 87:4-6

“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.’ Selah” – Psalm 87:4-6

Zion is the chosen city of God. Being born in Jerusalem bestows privilege on a person. Those born outside the city do not maintain similar benefits. The people of Zion look forward to when the enemies of God, will also be glorious citizens of Zion. The places recorded in these verses are a who’s who list of Gentile nations which have opposed God’s elect. It is radical to think these enemies of the state will receive great privilege. Only through Christ can enemies of the Lord be considered privileged.

In an earthly context it is common to see foreign enemies punished instead of lifted up. In times of war victorious nations often breed out, murder, or otherwise punish the survivors of defeated states. In history, a victorious nation is considered magnanimous if they do not punish the loosing people. However, the world does not mirror what is seen here in Scripture. The people of Jerusalem are pinning for a time when God’s enemies will receive the same privilege as a Jerusalem-born follower of God. Michael Horton said, “Children of Israel’s erstwhile enemies, even Egyptians and Babylonians, will be told that they were born in Zion and of Zion.”[1] We do not seek to separate the enemies of God from their Creator. Disciples of God long to unite the lost with Yahweh.

Those who have a heart for the lost do not wish to see the enemies of the Lord driven out but bonded with God. A truly missions minded saint prays passionately for his dissenters. We shall never wish ill upon those who disagree with us, nor do we pray they will agree with us. A Christian prays and works toward the day when their enemies will achieve equal status to them in Christ. The privileges and benefits of being a Christian are something we desire for all, especially our adversaries.

 

[1] Michael Horton, The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), 723.

About Mike

Mike, 49, grew up in California and spent 38 years of his life there. He received an undergraduate degree in Political Science, graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary and is pursuing a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Before accepting God’s call to fulltime missions, Mike worked in the California State Senate for 12 years. He became a Christian at the age of 20. Mike was a Ruling Elder at Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church(PCA) for seven years. While at Soaring Oaks, Mike served as the Director of the High School Youth Group, Sunday school teacher, and instructor of evangelism. His cross-cultural missions experience includes five short term trips to Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Peru (Lima and Cusco) through Mission to the World (MTW). He has volunteered with World Relief by teaching and counseling international refugees. Mike has also attended cross-cultural church planting conferences in New York and Orlando and completed the Perspectives course on the World Christian Movement. He attended Bible Study Fellowship for two years. He is a certified instructor through Evangelism Explosion and is a certified trainer of the Darkness to Light child sexual abuse prevention program. He completed MTW‘s Disaster Response Training. Mike is an experienced speaker and author. Over 70 of Mike's articles on missions have been published and he has written three books. He is a trained and experienced mentor, discipler, leader and a passionate teacher of small groups and Bible studies. Mike received an undergraduate degree in Political Science, graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Before accepting God’s call to fulltime missions, Mike was a Ruling Elder, Youth Group Leader, adult Sunday school teacher and evangelism instructor at Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church in Elk Grove, CA. Mike is an experienced speaker and author. Over 70 of Mike's articles on missions have been published and he has written three books. He is a trained and experienced mentor, discipler, leader and a passionate teacher of small groups and Bible studies. From 2007 to 2017 Mike served as a fulltime missionary for MTW. Mike served as Team Leader, Church Planter, and Seminary Professor. Mike and his wife Erin served in Honduras in Central America and Equatorial Guinea in Central Africa. Mike currently serves as the Director of the MTW West Coast Hub where he trains and mentors new missionaries from CA, AZ, & NV. Mike is also busy writing his next book.
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