A GUARD AND A GUIDE
Truly, Lord, You are greatly to be praised.
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.
a Psalm 48:1 In Hebrew texts 48:1-14 is numbered 48:2-15.
b Psalm 48:2 Zaphon was the most sacred mountain of the Canaanites.
c Psalm 48:8 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here.
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.
“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden” (Isa. 58:11).
This psalm is a celebration of the security of Zion. Because Jerusalem has been destroyed several times since it was written, the central phrase “God makes her secure forever” (8) may refer prophetically to the new Jerusalem, where God will live forever with all believers (Rev. 21). This means that the song is relevant to all who follow Christ: we shall all experience the beauty of praising him to the ends of the earth (9–11).
It describes what the city’s residents would do after repelling an attack or siege—they would tour the city, inspect its defenses, and praise God for his protection in times of battle. In times of triumph and after God has brought us through great trials, we ought to inspect our defenses and ensure that our spiritual foundations remain strong. Things like faith in God, knowledge of his Word, and the fellowship and prayers of the body of believers are all critical to our long-term flourishing. Then we should praise God for his gracious protection!
The final line of the psalm promises not only that God will guard us but also that “he will be our guide even to the end” (14). As we make our way through life, we have the Holy Spirit as a personal guide, a constant companion who has intimate knowledge of the ways of God and of the unique intricacies of each one of us. Any anxiety or even fear is eliminated by the revelation that our loving God is our Guard, our Guide, our Protector, and our Companion. Even as we seek to live out the unwritten chapters of Acts, we are reassured by these truths.
Consider how you use your tongue and pray accordingly. Thank the Lord for his loving discipline, submit yourself to it and praise him for our hope in Christ.
Lord, let us know the security and peace of Your presence. You are always guiding us in Your ways and directing us. Let all anxiety and worry fade.
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