“Truth for Truckers” *March 18, 2014* Psalm 48 “The City of Our God”
The City of Our God is the dominating theme of this fourteen verse Psalm that provides seven different titles for the ‘Holy city’ (Daniel 9:24) of the Jews, Jerusalem. This Psalm was given to ‘The sons of Korah’ who were of the tribe of Levi, the priestly family of Israel. In (v.1-8) Zion’s or Jerusalem’s characteristics are set forth. Then in (v.9-11) Praising God in the Temple on Mount Zion is recorded with (v.12-14) emphasizing Four Exhortations of Zion. ‘Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness.’ (v.1)
This brief but powerful exaltation of the LORD shows the heightened emphasis of praise when accomplished in Jerusalem with the dominating focus on His holiness, which is God’s essence, regulating all of His other attributes. ‘Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.’ (v.2). This expression of the Psalmist describes Jerusalem’s glorious elevation, its impact upon the people of the world, identified as the venerable peak of Zion, with ‘The sides of the north’ indicating the abode of God (Isaiah 14:13), and finally looking forward to the coming ‘King of kings and Lord of lords’ (Revelation 19:16) the Lord Jesus Christ.
‘God is known in her palaces for a refuge. For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together. They saw it, and so they marveled; they were troubled and hasted away. Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail. Thou break the ships of Tarshish with an east wind. 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.’
This most lengthy division of the Psalm sheds much light on how Jerusalem was viewed in its glory days by those who passed through its streets. The marveling, troubling, hasty, fearful and pained responses indicate the awe this great city inspired. The title ‘LORD of hosts’ always refers to the God of the armies of heaven verifying Who it was that elicited these kind of responses in those who viewed His earthly dwelling place. Again, the title is given, The City of Our God, and the promise follows of the eternal existence of this ‘The great city’ of the Revelation.
This brings us to the second major section of this Psalm (v.9-11) Praising God in the Temple of Zion:
‘We have thought of Thy loving-kindness, O God, in the midst of Thy temple. According to Thy name, O God, so is Thy praise unto the ends of the earth: Thy right hand is full of righteousness. Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad because of Thy judgments.’
The emphasis here is on the God of heaven as He is brought to mind ‘In the midst of Thy temple.’ His name brings forth universal praise, His ‘Right hand’ the position of rule and authority ‘Is full of righteousness’ setting off a powerful chorus of rejoicing from the temple mount, with the ‘Daughters of Judah’, one of the two tribes connected to the city of our God with the other being ‘Little Benjamin’. Judah is the chosen tribe of royalty encouraged to ‘Be glad because of Thy judgments’. Today we know that the Messiah the Lord Jesus Christ is the most beloved Hebrew of the tribe of Judah!
Then in (v.12-14) Four Exhortations of Zion are given: ‘Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following. For this God is our God for ever and ever: He will be our Guide even unto death.’ These commands to those who are listening focus upon close examination of the different segments of the city of Jerusalem so that the information concerning The City of Our God can be passed on to the next generation. The towers, the bulwarks, her palaces are mentioned referring to the military prowess and the great splendor of this renown city of its day. The old city of Jerusalem and the Temple mount still reflect much of what the city of Jerusalem was like in that day. The Lord blessed me with a ministry visit to Jerusalem in 2012.
The closing statement draws the parallel of this magnificent city to our great and powerful God Who also is glorious, and of great power, and eternal Who will continue to be our Good Shepherd and will direct our paths all the way into the doorway of heaven. Drivers, let us keep our eyes on Jesus the great King, for Jesus is coming again to His holy city!
Chaplain L.E.Wolfe www.btmi.org I-85 Exit 35 SC McPilot Stop in, and please pray for our ministry!