Introduction: “Next year in Jerusalem” are the last words of
a traditional Passover Seder. When I first learned of this I
thought, “What a wonder prayer for Christians. Imagine if we
seriously prayed that next year we would be living in the
New Jerusalem!” Our study of Psalms this week is a greater
development of this idea. These Psalms talk about the Jewish
sanctuary, our glorious God, the return to Zion, and how
this applies to us today and in the future. Let’s jump into
this study of hope for the future!

I. Our Goal

A. Read Psalm 84:1-2. Notice that this Psalm is
attributed to the “Sons of Korah.” Do you know who
they were? (They were the doorkeepers and
musicians in the temple of Jerusalem.)

1. Can you imagine that those who work in the
temple love to express how wonderful it is?
(It must have been great. If you work in a
grand place you can grow accustomed to it.)

B. Read Psalm 84:3-4. Can everyone find room in God’s
temple? (We are told that birds find homes there –
even the lowly sparrow. There is room for us.)

C. Read Psalm 84:5-7. How has the point of view of
the writer changed? Is this still the viewpoint
of someone who works in the temple? (No. These
verses speak about the journey to the temple.
These people live somewhere else.)

1. Many commentators believe that the “Valley of
Baca” refers a valley of weeping. How much
crying is taking place? (The text says that
the crying “make it” a place of springs. That
would be a lot of tears!)

2. Notice that verse seven says that they “go
from strength to strength.” How is that
possible? If you are weeping are you strong?
(Verse five says that those on this journey to
Jerusalem have their strength in God. If on
life’s journey you face terrible sadness,
keeping your heart set on the journey to God’s
temple in Jerusalem allows you to live

D. Read Psalm 84:8-9. We have another change in the
writer’s point of view. What new element enters
into this journey? (We now have a “shield,” but
this seems to be against God.)

1. Why would we need to be shielded from God?
(Even though we are on the journey to God, we
are terrible sinners. He is a perfect God.
Even weeping so heavily shows weakness. Our
“anointed” (who has a face) is Jesus. He
stands in our place before God. He shields

E. Read Psalm 84:10. Do you understand the emotion
behind this statement? Don’t we talk about (and
know) the pleasures of sin? (This shows that we
need the Holy Spirit to change our attitude. The
statement is true, we need to enter into a mind
set that allows us to say that one day in
Jerusalem is better than a thousand days in sin.)

1. Is understanding the “one day is better than a
thousand” statement something that we can only
truly know when we are in the New Jerusalem?

F. Read Psalm 84:11-12. When we enter into a right
relationship with God what can we expect? (Do you
like to stand in the warmth of the sun? Do you
enjoy favor and honor? This is what God does for
us when we “walk uprightly.”)

II. Peace in the Gates

A. Read Psalm 122:1-4. Where is David standing when
he writes this Psalm? (He is standing within “your
gates, O Jerusalem!”)

1. What does verse four tell us about the journey
to Jerusalem? (Read Deuteronomy 16:16. This is
a reference to the three annual feasts in
which God’s people would travel to Jerusalem
to give thanks.)

B. Read Psalm 122:5-8. Notice that three times in
these four verses we see the word “peace.” How is
this related to “thrones for judgment?” (Do you
think about the fact that our courts are to avoid
combat? Instead of the strong winning, the courts
resolve disputes based on agreed upon legal

1. Is this peace only about disputes among God’s
people? (I once read a book about the history
of Jerusalem and it recounted all the
different groups that conquered it. Peace
against external forces is important even

2. Recall earlier I asked you about the pleasures
of sin versus the joy of one day in Jerusalem?
Have you ever gotten into trouble and
desperately wished you had peace instead of

3. A story is unfolding in which a religious
leader faces criminal charges and perhaps
going to jail. How many days of wrongdoing do
you think this religious leader would trade
for one day of peace? (I suspect he would give
up all (alleged) wrongdoing to have peace

4. Apply this to your life. What “pleasure” would
you trade for eternal life?

5. We have discussed the idea of wrongdoing
interfering with peace. Have you felt a lack
of peace when no wrongdoing has taken place?
(Family relationships often interfere with
peace. Showing God’s love, as will be the case
for all in the New Jerusalem, gives us peace
in interpersonal relationships.)

III. The City Mountain

A. Read Psalm 99:9, Micah 4:1-2, and Isaiah 2:2. Do
these texts make any sense? How do you think the
New Jerusalem will be the highest of mountains?
Will God relocate it from the present Jerusalem?
Will the ground on which the current Jerusalem
sits suddenly rise up as a great mountain?

1. Did you notice that these texts do not refer
to Jerusalem sitting atop the highest
mountain? They speak of the house of God being
a mountain. How is that possible?

B. Read Revelation 21:15-17. What is the shape of the
New Jerusalem? (It does not look like any current
city, it is shaped like a cube. It looks like a
giant condominium!)

1. This text says that the New Jerusalem cube is
12,000 stadia on each side. What does this
mean in terms of current measurements? (The
conversion is 1,400 miles or 2,253 kilometers,
or 7,392,000 feet.)

2. Using those distances, would the top of the
New Jerusalem be above any current mountains?
(Commercial airlines fly at 33,000 feet. You
reach outer space at 380,000 feet. Most of the
New Jerusalem cube is in outer space! The
texts we just read give us no idea of the
extent to which the New Jerusalem towers over
everything on earth.)

C. Read Psalm 125:1-2. Given the size of the New
Jerusalem, do you think it is easily moved? (Once
God plants it on the earth made new, it is not
being moved by anyone. Instead, its size creates
all sorts of theoretical problems: what kind of
foundation would such a building require? Will it
interfere with the rotation of the earth? How is
it pressurized since most of it is in outer

IV. Eternal Peace

A. Read Psalm 125:3-4. Have you ever thought about
whether the problem of sin can arise again in
heaven (the earth made new)?

1. If your answer is, “Yes,” what do you think
will protect against that? Will God limit our
free choice? Will the bitter taste of sin
remain strong for eternity, so that we are
never tempted to turn back?

2. Does the psalmist worry about this?

B. Look again at Psalm 125:3. This tells us there is
a concern about the righteous stretching out
“their hands to do wrong.” What do you think is
meant by “the scepter of wickedness?” What role
does it play in future wrongdoing? (I think
scepter means the rule or power of evil. In heaven
we will not have a predisposition to evil as we
have now. We will have a perfect mind and
emotions. We will not tempt ourselves and we will
not be tempted by an external power.)

1. Consider how Lucifer fell into sin in a
perfect heaven. What prevents that from
happening again? (Look again at Psalm 125:2.
This tells us that we are “surrounded” by God.
We have the history of evil to restrain us –
and if we forget I’m sure the Holy Spirit will
remind us. Beyond these answers, we must trust
the superior wisdom and intellect of God. I’m
certain He has carefully thought through this
potential problem.)

C. Friend, would you like next year to be in the New
Jerusalem? Why not focus your mind on that? If you
have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior,
why not do that right now? It will put you on the
path to peace now and forever.

V. Next week: Worship That Never Ends.

Copr. 2024, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are
from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard
Version ), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing
ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All
rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within
parentheses. If you normally receive this lesson by e-mail,
but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this
link: Pray for the guidance of the
Holy Spirit as you study.