Observe: Psalm 48 focuses on two things – the city of the great King (verses 1-8) and responding to the great King (verses 9-14). Within these two sections we can observe the great King and His city (verses 1-3), the troubled kings of the earth (verses 4-7), the established city of the Lord (verse 8), meditating on His mercies (verses 9-11) and the city representing God’s faithfulness (verses 12-14).
Interpretation and Application: God is to be praised in His city (Jerusalem) and what is interesting is that Jerusalem is also referred to as God’s holy mountain. We often think that Mount Sinai is His holy mountain, but that mountain was deemed so holy that no one could really go there unless sanctioned by God. If one were to approach the mountain, they would die. Psalm 48 indicates that Jerusalem as a holy mountain is open to all – the joy of the whole earth. We as believers have been grafted into Israel and therefore just as God established Zion forever (verse8), Christ promised to establish His church forever (Matthew 16:18) and thus we become part of God’s temple – His dwelling place (I Corinthians 3:16). Israel had heard stories in the past of how God had delivered His people, but now they experienced it for themselves. How true for us as believers! We have heard stories of others coming to Christ, but now when we experience it ourselves we can add our story to theirs. When the kings joined forces to invade God’s city, they must have been giddy with confidence in assuming that they could overtake it. However, once they got a look at it, they turned tail and fled in terror (verses 4-7). Oh, that those of us who know and love the Lord could radiate such an image of Christ that those who mock and confront us would turn in terror and seek Him! When we meditate on God’s unfailing love (verse 9) we should automatically praise His name to the ends of the earth and tell of Him to the next generation (verses 9-13). Verse 14 ties back to verse 1 – the Lord is great and greatly to be praised. He is our God and guide forever and ever, even unto death. We can trust and praise Him because He is faithful to deliver us. No matter what evil we encounter in this world, nothing can thwart God’s loving purposes for those of us who dwell in His city!
Prayer: Thank you Lord for your faithfulness and loving kindness. We praise and adore You and know that You will be our guide, even to the end. Help us to shine Your light from Your city into this dark world. In Your holy name, amen.
Song: Great is the Lord
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In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.