Boice

Friday: Zion, City of Our God

Written on 01/11/2019
James Boice

By James Boice

Theme: Fountains of Blessing

In this week’s lessons we look at the nature of the church, which is itself a picture of the eternal City of Zion, of which every Christian is a citizen. 

Scripture: Psalm 87:1-7

The last verse of this short but very beautiful psalm is about those who have been reborn and who praise God for it, singing, "All my fountains are in you.” This lovely image is echoed elsewhere. It occurs in Psalm 46:4, for instance, where we read of "a river whose streams make glad the city of God.” Or Ezekiel 47:1, which describes "water coming out from under the threshold of the heavenly temple,” which became a great river of blessing. John Milton referred to these springs in the preface to Paradise Lost, asking the Holy Spirit to inspire him as he composed his epic:

... or, if Sion's hill

Delight thee more, or Siloa's brook that flowed

Fast by the oracle of God, I thence

Invoke thine aid to my adventurous song.

What all these references are saying is that "every good and perfect gift is from above," that is, from God. All we are or hope to be, all we have or ever hope to have, all we attain or even hope to attain is from him. The people of God acknowledge this and praise God for it.

Do you do that? Or do you take credit for what you are or accomplish yourself? May I suggest that if you acknowledge that "all your fountains are in God,” as they truly are, then you will have joy in your salvation and, what is more, you will be encouraged to keep on serving God since you know that he will sustain your effort. You will know that "he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6).

Newton put it this way in the second verse of his hymn:

See, the streams of living waters,

Springing from eternal love,

Well supply thy sons and daughters,

And all fear of want remove:

Who can faint while such a river

Ever flows their thirst to assuage—

Grace which, like the Lord the Giver,

Never fails from age to age?

That grace has not failed yet, and it will never fail, because it comes from the inexhaustible supply of the infinite and eternally merciful and gracious God. We are eternally blessed if we know, worship and serve him.

Study Questions:

  1. What does the river symbolize?
  2. What do the reborn do in verse 7? What themes encompass it?

Reflection: When thinking about various aspects of your life, do you sometimes forget who is the source of those blessings?

Application: Start each day with a prayer of praise for what God has given you, and thank him for his infinite supply of mercy and goodness.


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