When God, in verse 4, speaks of the people of Babylon, for instance, that “know Me” He is speaking of the Church (Spiritual Israel). In a similar way, the singers sing of a spring in a spiritual way. A spring could also be called a fountain head—a place where water, or in this case the joy of the Lord, starts to flow.
Consider, also, the “joy and singing” and streams in the desert in Isaiah 35. And Isaiah 43:19 says: “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” But especially consider the words of our Lord as Jesus explains the gift of spiritual water to the woman at the well: “But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (Jn 4:14). Now that is a spring of true joy!
John F. Brug, in the People’s Bible Commentary: Psalms 73-150, offers his readers a good concluding sentence of his writings about Psalm 87: “This is a psalm of God’s grace. Because of God’s love and his choice, the Holy City becomes God’s special possession. Because of his proclamation, even his enemies are called to enter the Holy City. It is due to his grace alone that the kings of the earth enter his city and drink of the fountains of life (Revelation 21:22–22:21)” (64).
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