One of the Sons of Korah sang a song now recorded for its powerful and shocking refrain, "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,"'" (Ps 87:3-4).
Here is a beautiful and remarkable prophecy of God's future adoption of children from all nations, including those historically opposed to God and God's people like Babylon, Philistia and Cush (Egypt). Imagine the shock of an Israelite hearing God say He would rewrite the birth certificate of a Babylonian as if he were "born in Zion," the city of God. The redone birth certificate symbolizes the new life in Jesus Christ through faith for the forgiveness of sins. Paul explained it this way, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!" (2 Cor 5:17). The shock of "anyone" in Paul's day was that the previously accepted barriers of foreign pagans had been broken down and torn in two by the shed blood of Christ. Anyone - Jewish, Samaritan, Greek, Roman, or Barbarian - could receive forgiveness for their sin through faith in Christ Jesus, and have their eternal birth certificates signed that they were born again in the City of God. Knowing that at the time my ancestors were on a far away island to the west, among the "barbarians", I praise God that His grace extended over mountains and across cultures. It is by His Sovereign Grace that I know my heavenly birth certificate says by my name, "This one was born in Zion."