Psalms 48:1

 

The Bible says in Psalms 48:1-2, “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.[2] Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.” I learned to sing these verses from Lester Roloff back in the early seventies when he would come as a guest speaker at Bob Jones University. I still remember the tune and have had the congregation sing it in our church. It is a good example of the value of taking Bible verses and putting them to song: it helps you to memorize the verses. Why should we praise God? We should praise Him because He is great. In other words we should praise Him for who He is. God is the greatest of all. Therefore, praise Him.

 

These two verses are talking about the city of Jerusalem. God chose the city of Jerusalem to be the location of the temple, and thus to symbolize the presence of God. God chose the city of Jerusalem to be the city of the great King: in other words the city of the Messiah: the city from which the Messiah will rule the earth at His Second Coming. Strange that a city with such a potential would be the city that crucified the Savior. But God has a plan for Jerusalem. Though man has failed, God will not fail. Jerusalem will one day be “Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth.”

 

The Bible says in Psalms 48:3, “God is known in her palaces for a refuge.” If you have learned to dwell in the presence of God, then you have learned that God is “a refuge.” Jesus will protect you. He will build walls around you. He will put up a shield in from of you. He will give you a place to live in safety and security as long as He has something for you to do for Him and for His glory. In the age in which we live, God no longer has set up a city with the temple to symbolize His presence. Christ in us is the hope of glory. The presence of God within each believer makes up the kingdom of God. Concerning the presence of God within each of us, we can say “God is known in her palaces for a refuge.” All of the true believers know this. Through faith in Christ, God dwells in us. Because He dwells in us, He is always with us and will always be our refuge.

 

The Bible says in Psalms 48:4-7, “For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together.[5] They saw it, and so they marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away.[6] Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail.[7] Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind.” In the days of King David Jerusalem was a testimony to the world. God created Jerusalem through His servant David. God established Jerusalem. God protected Jerusalem. It was obvious to all that this was the work of God. When other kings of the earth passed by Jerusalem, they marveled. And “they were troubled” because the hand of God’s blessing was upon Jerusalem, and by the power of God they knew that Jerusalem was safe, and that Jerusalem would be victorious should they try to fight against them. And so they “hasted away.” That is the kind of victory that God can give. God can chase away your enemies before you even have to fight them because of the “fear” that God can put in their hearts as it says in verse six. It is not just a small amount of fear that God can put in someone’s heart to protect you from them. We are talking a lot of fear. The fear is described in verse six as “pain, as of a woman in travail.” That is a lot of pain, and thus a lot of fear. God loves you, and He can and will do anything to protect you.  

 

And God can give victory in other ways too. God controls the whole earth. If an armada of ships comes against you, God can bring a mighty wind to destroy the ships. That has happened more than once in history. We all know about the Spanish Armada. Remember that it says about Jesus: “Even the winds and the sea obey him.” “Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind.”

 

The Bible says in Psalms 48:8, “As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever. Selah.” David says something important to know concerning prophecy about the city of Jerusalem: “God will establish it for ever.” God has a plan for the city of Jerusalem because it is the capital of Israel. God has a plan for the city of Jerusalem because king David was king there, and King David symbolized the great King who would come: King Jesus. King Jesus came into Jerusalem as king once already. We call it Palm Sunday when Jesus rode in peace into Jerusalem riding upon a donkey and with the foal of a donkey. But Jesus was rejected by the inhabitants of Jerusalem when they called out, “Crucify Him, crucify Him.” But where man fails, God succeeds. Jesus will come to Jerusalem one more time, but the second time He will come as a conquering King. Jesus will rule on the throne of David from the city of Jerusalem for a thousand years. God has said that it will happen and so it will. “God will establish it for ever.”

 

The Bible says in Psalms 48:9, “We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple.” It is good to think about the “lovingkindness” of God for you. Think good thoughts, and one of the best thoughts is that God loves you. God proved His love by sending His Son Jesus to die for you on the cross. It says in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life

 

The Bible says in Psalms 48:10-11, “According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness.[11] Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments.” There are two things about God mentioned in these two verses that are reasons we should praise the Lord. We should praise God for His “righteousness.” God always does the right thing. We can count on that. People may not do the right thing, but God does. God is at work in the world: doing good and saving souls. His truth is marching on. No one can stop God from doing all the righteous deeds from taking place. Look for the righteous things that God is doing. They are everywhere because God is everywhere. We can praise God every day for all that His name stands for and for the fact that His “right hand is full of righteousness.” We should praise God also for His judgments. God evaluates the behavior of people and nations: in other words God judges and then God decides what should happen to those individuals and to those nations. God has His own reasons for His judgments and His decisions. We should see the hand of God, trust in the hand of God, and believe in the hand of God in all that is going on around us. And as verse eleven says, we should rejoice and be glad because of His judgments.

 

The Bible says in Psalms 48:12-14, “Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof.[13] Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following.[14] For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.” David looked at the works of God and was thankful to God for what God had done. In David’s day Jerusalem was a new city. All of the buildings and walls had recently been built. The temple had not even been built yet because David’s son, King Solomon, built the first temple. But when David looked at the city of Jerusalem that he had built with God’s help, David knew that Jerusalem itself was a testimony to the truth that God has a plan: an eternal plan. That is important to remember: God is fulfilling His plan. If you are a believer, and you are serving the Lord Jesus, you are part of an eternal plan, and if your eyes are open, you will see in your life evidences of God’s plan being accomplished. Every soul that is saved becomes a part of God’s plan forever. We call that eternal security. When you accept Jesus as your Savior, your soul becomes eternally secure. As it says in verse fourteen, “For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.” Our soul is eternally secure, and God will guide us and provide for us and protect us throughout life until the day comes that God decides we will die. But because we will live forever, death will simply be leaving this earth and this life to go to a far better life. This will happen because Jesus died for us on the cross.

 

 

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Copyright; 2019 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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