Douglas Wilson – Psalm 87: Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken


In this psalm we are encouraged to exult in the corporate realities of God’s salvation. God saves individuals one by one, but He never saves them to be alone. Just as we are not saved by good works, but rather to good works (Eph. 2:8-10), so also we are not saved by a crowd or a congregation, but we most assuredly are saved to a crowd and a congregation.


The physical city of God was in the holy mountains (v. 1). His heavenly Jerusalem is built on the holy mountains of His everlasting wisdom. The Lord Jehovah loves the individual dwellings of Jacob, but He loves the public assembly of His people more (v. 2). The city of God is glorious, and it is right to ascribe glory to her (v. 3). The psalmist then mentions a series of pagan powers which will be brought to worship the Lord, which will be “born” in Zion (v. 4). And of Zion itself, it will be said that men of eminence were born in her (v. 5). When the Lord Jehovah conducts His great census, He will be the one who marks that this one was born (again) there (v. 6). The musicians will be there, and all our springs will be in the Lord (v. 7).


The Temple that Solomon built was on Mt. Moriah. The Tabernacle of David, in which the sacrifices were largely musical, was on Mt. Zion. The tabernacle from the wilderness was on Mt. Gibeon (2 Chron. 1:3), about 6 miles northwest of Jerusalem. In a way, all of them merged into the Temple, and began to be known as Zion.

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