Psalm 87:6: “The LORD will record, / When He registers the peoples: / ‘This one was born there.’ / Selah”

December 30th, 2020 by Pastor Ed in devotional

In 1790, the newly established government in America thought it a good thing to take a census. So all the citizens of the United States of America were numbered. The count was slightly less than 4 million souls. Since 1790, every 10 years (years ending in zero), all of America is carefully tallied. These numbers help the government keep track of trends, like how many citizens live in the country on farms vs. urban areas, the average age of the citizens, etc.

The ancient Jewish historian Josephus tells us that in the 1st century a census was taken of all the lambs that were present in the city of Jerusalem for the Passover. The count was 256,000, which means there must have been around 2.56 million people, since one lamb typically counted for 10 people. With a number that large, it must have taken the entire day to sacrifice them all. And it was at this busy time of celebration that Jesus of Nazareth, the Lamb of God, entered Jerusalem to become the only sufficient sacrifice for all of our sins.

In this psalm we are told that God will also register citizens, like in a census. However, it is a much more important numbering. God is recording the names of those who will have a part, will be able to share, in His eternal kingdom. We become citizens of the city of God by surrendering our lives to Jesus Christ’s who gave His life for us.

“LORD, there are no words that adequately thank You for making the way for us to be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, but we do thank You, in Jesus’ name.”