(The study with Psalm 87 is available here)
It is difficult for us to understand the love that God has for the world and for the elect (Joh 3:16 , 1Joh 3:1). This Psalm is very instrumental in helping us see that love that has never diminished in God’s is-was-and-will-be heart of love (Mal 3:6 , 1Joh 4:8). God’s love is shed abroad in the heart (Rom 5:5) of His true believers and enables us to keep His commandments as we learn obedience by the things which we suffer in these vessels which are marred in the hand of potter so that they can be made anew (Heb 5:8 , Jer 18:4)
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
1Jn 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
Mal 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
1Jn 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
Rom 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Heb 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
Jer 18:4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
This Psalm reminds us where we come from and how God has made us to be naturally at enmity against him so that He can demonstrate through His power how He can gain dominion over that initial heart of hardness that is subject unto vanity and then eventually hope (Rom 8:20). God softens and hardens our hearts just as He did with Pharoah who is a type and shadow of man’s heart that God is able to control exactly as He wants (Rom 8:7 , Rom 9:17).
Rom 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Rom 9:17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
The whole creation must experience that enmity which is manifest in the relationship of brother against brother and man against woman, and many other divisions that must supersede the new relationship that God is going to form with all the world, using the elect who are a kind of first fruits who are blessed to first see that only God can make twain one or turn the hearts of the Fathers to their children and the children to their fathers (Eph 2:14 , 1Co 6:16 , Mal 4:6).
Eph 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
1Co 6:16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
Mal 4:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
We learn that no man can separate that coming together that God has purposed from the foundation of the world and that He bestows that love first upon Jacob who typifies the elect body of Christ (Rom 9:13), and then the rest of his creation in time. The demonstration of that love is found in the chastening that He allows us to go through to cause us to cease from sinning (1Pet 4:1) as we are set free by Christ (Joh 8:36) who strengthens us and enables us to endure unto the end (Php 4:13).
Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
1Pe 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
Joh 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
This Psalm reminds us of God’s enduring love for all of his creation and how all things are done decently and in order to demonstrate His sovereignty over the entire process (1Cor 14:40 , Heb 12:2). The elect are going through a birthing process that takes nine months symbolically which number nine represents the judgement that is needed in order for us to remain faithful until the end of the process, a process that leads to eternal life, of which Christ is the author and finisher of (Joh 6:68 , Rom 2:4).
1Co 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Joh 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
Rom 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
Judgement is upon the household of God (1Pet 4:17) which enables us to die daily and not die the “common death” that all the world dies in their sinful flesh that is not being called unto an accounting or judgement in this age (Joh 8:24). It is because we are granted to acknowledge those sins that blind us today, that we can become a people who have bowels of mercy, knowing how great His mercy is toward us, and realizing that the mercy is being shown to us today so that we can extend it to the rest of the world in the time that God has ordained (Joh 9:41 , Php 2:1-2).
1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
Joh 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
Joh 9:41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
Php 2:1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
Php 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind
This song ends with rejoicing which comes forth from His people who have been blessed to acknowledge His sovereignty in all the affairs of all of His creation. That relationship with our Lord develops our ability to fulfill this verse which was the title of the study, which is found in Rom 12:12 “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer”
The webinar, mp3 recording and study notes for this study can be viewed here