Daily in the Psalms 48
book of psalm 48
THE GLORY OF GOD’S PEOPLE
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. 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 marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away. Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail. Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind. Psalms 48:1-7
The Psalmist here begins this Chapter with a celebration of praise to God and to the great city that He has protected with His mighty hand. This city represents the Church where His glory is to be found. There are two things that distinguish this city from all others:
GOD MANIFESTS HIS GREATNESS AND GLORY IN HIS HOUSE
God had shown His greatness in battle and now the Psalmist calls for the people to see His glory in the Temple. All attention must be on Him, in the way we conduct our services, in the way we personally worship, in the way we obey His Word, and the way we receive His message. We must also honor Him with our sacrifices, our devotion, and our reverence. It was the Temple that God had chosen to reveal Himself to His people. In our day, it is the Church that the Lord has chosen to reveal Himself to His people. There is no place where God’s glory can shine more brightly. It is true that God reveals Himself in all things such as nature. The Bible says that the earth declares the glory of God. But in His perfect plan, the calling of sinners and the establishing of the Saints are assigned to the Church. He said, where two or three gather in His Name, there He will meet with us. Those that know the Bible and understand the work of God know that this is a clear reference to the Church.
GOD’S HOUSE IS BLESSED AND HALLOWED BY HIS PRESENCE
The Mount and the Temple were blessed and special places, but only because of the presence of God. The Bible describes the House of God as His Holy Temple. Not because of bricks and martyr, but because that is where God meets with His people. The glory of the Church today is in the fact that the presence of God abides there in the hearts of His people. There is no glory apart from His presence.
“Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth.” God wanted these people to be associated with the highest platform of holiness and sacredness. Rising above the valley, protected, fortified, and beautiful, it was a wonder in the sight of all people. God has ordained and established the Holy City of Jerusalem and has made it the focal point of the world. But the emphasis cannot be placed on a physical or earthly sight alone. Our attention must be drawn to the place where human eyes cannot see His glory; it is a place that must be looked upon through eyes of faith. The Psalmist is not speaking of a place built with human hands, but a place established by God. Because of the might and glory of God and the fact that God’s people came there to worship Him, this city was exalted before men. The Church today is empowered and indwelt by the Spirit of God, and it is adorned with the holy lives of those that gather there for worship. It is not the actual building that distinguishes or honors it before men; it is the revealed presence of the Lord. Him shinning through His people is the light of the world. When those that have the Spirit of God abiding in them gather together, they become a city on a hill that cannot be hid. God help us to let our light shine that men may see our good works and glorify our Father which is in Heaven. When the Church (The people of the Church) reveals God to the world, the whole earth has reason to rejoice.
For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together. The kings of the surrounding countries had come to fight and conquer, but they had been driven away in defeat. As one modern comedian has said, “We came, we saw, and we got blowed up.” The enemies of the Church are gathered together today and they are coming against the Church to fight and conquer. Their weapons are superstition, worldliness, wealth, and political power. God help us to stand up and remind those in the Church that these are enemies to be defeated, not friends that we are to join. The words indicate here that they gathered together and suddenly passed by or were vanquished. Fear and trembling took hold of them and they hastened away. They came near to the city, but before they could strike the first blow, God defeated them. It was a painful defeat, pain like a woman in travail. This term in used in the Bible to note the worst kind of pain. Too many in the Church want victory over their enemies, but they want the defeat to be painless so we can all be friends afterward.
“God is known in her palaces for a refuge.” This sudden and complete victory will not come at our own hand or in our own power; God alone is responsible for it. That is why there is to be such a great celebration in His House. The flesh is left out and the Spirit of God is exalted.
The breaking of the ships of Tarshish is mentioned because it took place without the armies of Jehoshaphat striking a single blow. It was the result of the almighty power of God alone. God alone will scatter the enemies of the Church. The more He is realized in His House, the more we will run to that place for refuge. The lies and wickedness of the enemy will be defeated by the Truth of God; worldliness and self-indulgence will be vanquished by the cross of Christ. As a result, praise and honor will rise in the House of our God. He is the True Glory of the Church. The glory of the Church is not in the beautiful facilities; those are most of the time nothing more than shrine built to men. It is not in their social prestige, the honor given to them by society, of even the perceived results of their various ministries. The Glory is and always has been in His presence! That presence must be manifested by the holy lives, the self-denying sacrifice, the loyal devotion, the faithful service, and the victorious faith of God’s people. Their eyes are on Him, their love is for Him, and they know it’s always all about Him.
THE INSTRUCTIONS TO GOD’S PEOPLE
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. We have thought of thy lovingkindness, 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. 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. Psalms 48:8-14
God does a great work for His people and for the Church for a reason. As He works and reveals Himself to us, we are to make the needed changes in our lives and in the Church. God’s works are mighty and important, but His instructions are just as important. All that God’s people had witnessed had given them the assurance that what they had always believed was true and worth fighting for. What God had done because of their past faith now gave them the courage to confirm that same faith for the future. They trusted Him before, they could trust Him in the future, and they should always trust Him. The great city of that day, Jerusalem, has long since fallen to the ground, her beauty is no more, and the Temple of that day has been destroyed. But those things are only temporal; God has established Himself and His Word, and His Church forever. The Church of Jesus Christ is built upon The Rock and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. All that we have ever believed and Preached about Him still stands true and sure. We are encouraged to press on with increased faith in Him.
“We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple.” These people saw the mighty hand of God as He brought the victory for them. But God has given us a brighter display of His love and grace in His Son as our Saviour and His loving kindness is the foundation for all of our blessings. The meditation of all of His mercy, grace and kindness is to take place especially in the Church. Most of these Psalms were songs to be sung in the Temple. The songs we sing today ought to be the same, songs of praise and thanksgiving for His grace. We are not to meet in fear of our enemies; we are to meet in praise of our great God. It is our duty to think on Him, not on those that hate Him. Our gratitude ought to compel us to ponder all His mercies and acts of kindness. Just as it is necessary to digest our physical food, we are to digest the Word of God and the Works of God as we meet in His House. By our meditation we will be reminded of Him and all that He has done and we will also be reminded of our duty to Him and we will be encouraged to trust in Him.
“In the midst of thy temple - Let mount Zion rejoice.” This is a call for God’s people to gather in His House and praise Him. When God shows His favor, it should always be followed by praise in His House.
“According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth:” We are to make His might, His works, and His grace known everywhere we go. If that were the case, even the heathen would praise Him. When the character of God is revealed, one cannot help but be thankful. Praise for the greatness of God ought to be in the Church and beyond the Church so that He is acknowledged everywhere.
“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.” The people were to take a look around and see how secure they were and how they could rest from the fear of their enemies. God wanted them to see that the testimony of His goodness would be still around for generations to come. He wanted them to tell it in such a way that those that hadn’t even seen it would still be attracted to Him and encouraged to trust Him. The testimony of the goodness and faithfulness of our God should grow with every generation. As the Church continues to carry on the work and will of God in these days, His testimony must increase as we publish His beauty and securing power. The foundations of our God are immoveable and eternally secure. He guards them with His hand and we have no need to worry, we are so safe it’s pitiful! Let us take this message to all generations that they may seek that same city.
“For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.” There are two reasons for our assured victory:
OUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM
He is “OUR GOD!” He is “OUR GUIDE!” He guides us by His Word and influences us by His Spirit. He seeks us in our sin, loves us in our human flesh, helps us in our troubles, comforts us in our trials, sheds light on our dark paths of life, and He promises to never leave nor forsake us.
OUR PERMANENT RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM
“For ever and ever” means just that. “Until death” means just that. His love and care for us is constant and unchangeable. Let us rejoice in Him!
the 48th Book of Psalms Daily Study Psalm 48 Morning Devotional
So Glad To Be So Saved
Danny "Preacher" Bezet