Vs. 1-3 show all is well with God when He is recognized in worship;
Vs. 4-6 show the universal desire of people to be spiritually born;
Vs. 7 says worship in song comes from blessings.
This Psalm involved the “sons of Korah.” Korah was a “son” of Esau (Exodus 34:6), whose descendant, Korah, died in the rebellion against Moses in the wilderness (Numbers 16), but whose children did not die (Numbers 26:9-11). The name “Korah” is associated with sinful rebellion against God and His worship, thus this praise should be in the heart of any sinner, and reflect deep respect for such service. Since the church of Christ is God’s temple today (2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 1:1, 22-23; 2:14-22), this Psalm is phrased in such a way as to describe the church!
Verses 1-3: God designated “Zion” (verse 1) for a permanent temple place (2 Samuel 24:24-25; 1 Chronicles 17:1-15), but began the church of Christ on Zion so it would go forth into all the world (Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:1-4, 16-21; Hebrews 12:18-24). The “gates of Zion” (verse 2), when the church of Christ was established (Acts 2), allowed “all nations” to flow to it (Isaiah 2:1-3; Luke 24:44-47). God left a record of “glorious things” about it (verse 3) in the New Testament.
Verses 4-6: There is a list of nations, some former enemies of God and His people, where, when the church of Christ goes forth, people “who know” God are born again. In verse 4, the Gospel of Jesus Christ made converts (Acts 2:5-11, 22-47) from “Rahab,” not the person but the country of Egypt (as in Isaiah 51:9-10), Babylon, Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia, even in Jerusalem, itself (verse 5; Acts 4:4). “The Most High” (God) built the church (Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:47; 20:28; Romans 16:16). God keeps the record of those who have obeyed Him (verse 6; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:47; 2 Timothy 2:19; Revelation 7:9-17).
Verse 7: Clearly, “singing” does not automatically include playing “instruments” for they are separate methods of producing music. Therefore when the New Testament specifies “singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19), “playing instruments” is not included nor associated with it in worship! The Gospel of Jesus Christ becomes in the obedient “a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:13-14).
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.