It was one of the cutest things I’d seen to that point.
Our daughter, Dani, was just getting to the age when she could sing songs with words that WE could understand. Not only is that cute enough, but to hear her singing these words added a whole new dimension to it:
All I know is I’m not home yet This is not where I belong
Take this world and give me Jesus
This is not where I belong1
Patty and I wondered if that’s how our praise could sound to God: simple, pure, and honest. As we grow up, we seem to lose the childlike faith. Yet it is this simple trusting in the Lord guiding us through this bumpy road called life.
It’s in the spirit of this type of simple, total praise the Sons of Korah write Psalm 87 under the Holy Spirit’s inspiration:
He has founded his city on the holy mountain. The Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the other dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are said of you, city of God: “I will record Rahab and Babylon among those who acknowledge me— Philistia too, and Tyre, along with Cush— and will say, ‘This one was born in Zion.’ ” Indeed, of Zion it will be said, “This one and that one were born in her, and the Most High himself will establish her.” The Lord will write in the register of the peoples: “This one was born in Zion.” As they make music they will sing, “All my fountains are in you.”
Oftentimes, when we read “Zion”, it’s a symbolic term for God’s kingdom presence. And that’s exactly how this Psalm unfolds. As the Lord brings about His Kingdom through His people, the nations begin to see the reality of the glory of the one true God.
And just as the nation of Israel was established by God’s glorious decree, so also the church of our Lord Jesus was established by God’s glorious decree. Jerusalem, the literal “Zion”, was a city on a hill for all the nations to see. And the Old Covenant people of God were to shine His light from that glorious hill.
But in Jesus Christ, His New Covenant people shine His light from the glorious hill of hearts transformed by His mercy and grace. Perhaps the best parallel to this understanding is Hebrews 12:22-24:
But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
Dearly loved of the Lord, this world is not our final home but it is our final mission field. Jesus has written “in the register of the peoples: this one was born in Zion.” And that “one” is you.
You are a child of the King and a citizen of Zion. Be glad, fulfilled, and at peace.
Then lift your voice in simple and total praise freely declaring, “Take this world and give me Jesus. This is not where I belong.”
1© 2010 Sony/ATV Tree Publishing (Admin. by Sony/ATV Songs LLC) Sony/ATV Timber Publishing (Admin. by Sony/ATV Sounds LLC) West Main Music (Admin. by Sony/ATV Sounds LLC) Windsor Hill Music (Admin. by Sony/ATV Sounds LLC). All rights reserved. Used by Permission. CCLI 11176741