HOME WITH GOD
Eternal God, on this your day I offer you highest praise. I want worthily to honor your name.
Read PSALM 48
A song. A psalm of the Sons of Korah.
1 Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise,
in the city of our God, his holy mountain.
2 Beautiful in its loftiness,
the joy of the whole earth,
like the heights of Zaphon[b] is Mount Zion,
the city of the Great King.
3 God is in her citadels;
he has shown himself to be her fortress.
4 When the kings joined forces,
when they advanced together,
5 they saw her and were astounded;
they fled in terror.
6 Trembling seized them there,
pain like that of a woman in labor.
7 You destroyed them like ships of Tarshish
shattered by an east wind.
8 As we have heard,
so we have seen
in the city of the Lord Almighty,
in the city of our God:
God makes her secure
9 Within your temple, O God,
we meditate on your unfailing love.
10 Like your name, O God,
your praise reaches to the ends of the earth;
your right hand is filled with righteousness.
11 Mount Zion rejoices,
the villages of Judah are glad
because of your judgments.
12 Walk about Zion, go around her,
count her towers,
13 consider well her ramparts,
view her citadels,
that you may tell of them
to the next generation.
14 For this God is our God for ever and ever;
he will be our guide even to the end.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectJot down a list of reasons why the Lord is worthy of praise. Turn your list into prayers of praise.
Ancient Jerusalem was a typical fortified settlement, situated on the steep slopes of Mount Zion. It was not the strategic military position that made the difference, but God’s presence with his people (vs 2,3,7,8). Like the layers of a Russian doll, the city surrounded the temple, and the temple held the Most Holy Place which contained the ark of the covenant. And God had promised to live with his people, enthroned above the ark of the covenant (see also Exodus 25:22; Numbers 7:89). God’s presence brought security (v 8) and delight (v 9).
It would have been easy to sing this song when God defeated their enemies (vs 4–7; 2 Kings 19:32–36). However, there was soul-searching, doubt and mourning when the city and temple were later destroyed. How were God’s people to make sense of verses 8, 9, 10 and 14 when they stood among the ruins? How do we keep hold of the truths of God’s love and righteousness (vs 9,10) when life crumbles around us? Maybe Revelation 21 holds the key: God has designed a safe city where we will live with our Great King. Where everyone (the nations, the cities, the villages) will marvel at his unfailing love (v 9).
Why not memorize verse 14 so that when you face tricky moments in the week ahead, you will trust him to be your ‘guide even to the end’?
I praise and thank you Lord, for the church universal and the church local. Bless and prosper my home church, as we seek to share the gospel with others.
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