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“ALL MY SPRINGS . . . ARE IN YOU”
by Philip Owen

A number of commentators remark on the abruptness with which Psalm Eighty-Seven concludes.  The psalmist has been describing the glories that await Israel in Zion, the center of the millennial kingdom, and concludes:  “All my springs of joy are in you” (Psa. 87:7).  Having meditated on the vast blessings of God, the psalmist bursts forth with these brief words of praise—he can do no more; he can do no less.  Though the psalm clearly describes the future millennial status of Israel, our text, nevertheless, offers rich applications for the present church.

  A literal spring is a place where clear, cold, pure water comes bubbling out of the ground to produce a rivulet or a river, a source of unceasing refreshing and life-giving water.  But the psalmist is speaking metaphorically, and for those who are saved, the spring is the Source that provides eternal life and all that goes with it.

However, the psalmist speaks expansively.  He does not have one little spring that produces a little trickle of water.  He speaks in the plural of “springs.”  He has an abundance of water, a wealth of blessing, if you will, yet all issues from one Source:  “you.”  Some commentators believe the pronoun refers to Zion, others to the Lord.  Even if it is the former, the blessing of Zion ultimately resides in the Lord who has built, established, and will reside in Zion so that, finally, the difference is the same, so to speak.  The Lord is the Spring of blessing.

The psalmist insistently affirms that “all” his springs are in the Lord.  Many regard their families and friends, or their possessions and position, or their health and energy to be the source of their blessing.  But the psalmist writes that all his springs are found in the Lord.  Not even the supernatural angels that minister to people on behalf of God are the source of blessing.  The psalmist paddles his boat up the river to the spring, the First Source, and declares that He alone saves and blesses.  The NASB inserts the words of joy after the word springs.  But neither the original Hebrew nor the context seems to justify limiting the metaphor to refer only to joy.  The word “all”  and the plural “springs” suggest, not only that none other than the Lord is the Source of “every good thing given and every perfect gift” (Jam. 1:17), but also that,  whether salvation, faith, joy, peace, comfort, strength, hope, desire, or delight, anything that is truly substantial comes from the Lord and from Him alone.

Furthermore, the psalmist calls them “my springs.”  Never mind that others put their hope and confidence in fallible men or feeble things, he trusts in the Lord.  In the best sense of the word, finite, fleeting humans own nothing.  Though we may possess this or that for a few short years, we own nothing; we die:  relationships cease, and our stuff falls into hands of others.  But the psalmist truly possesses an eternal spring, and possesses it eternally.  As such, he claims it as his own; and so it is as nothing in this world could ever be claimed.

And what a spring it is!  The psalmist identifies the Source simply as “You”—none other than the Lord.  To have Him is to have the very God of heaven, first of all as Savior from sin, then as Helper, and Guide, and Comforter, and Bridegroom, and Lover of our souls—to name but a few.  Who would accept one bottle of water if he had a spring on his property?  Who would take a million dollars if he owned a mint?  “All I need in Thee to find,” William Bradbury penned.  “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32).  Do you possess this Spring?        

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