1 A Song. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. Great [is] the LORD, and greatly to be praised In the city of our God, [In] His holy mountain. 2 Beautiful in elevation, The joy of the whole earth, [Is] Mount Zion [on] the sides of the north, The city of the great King. 3 God [is] in her palaces; He is known as her refuge. 4 For behold, the kings assembled, They passed by together. 5 They saw [it, and] so they marveled; They were troubled, they hastened away. 6 Fear took hold of them there, [And] pain, as of a woman in birth pangs, 7 [As when] You break the ships of Tarshish With an east wind. 8 As we have heard, So we have seen In the city of the LORD of hosts, In the city of our God: God will establish it forever. Selah 9 We have thought, O God, on Your lovingkindness, In the midst of Your temple. 10 According to Your name, O God, So [is] Your praise to the ends of the earth; Your right hand is full of righteousness. 11 Let Mount Zion rejoice, Let the daughters of Judah be glad, Because of Your judgments. 12 Walk about Zion, And go all around her. Count her towers; 13 Mark well her bulwarks; Consider her palaces; That you may tell [it] to the generation following. 14 For this [is] God, Our God forever and ever; He will be our guide [Even] to death.PSALM 48:1-14
THE CITY OF GOD
I love going to a wedding or graduation party where someone in the family has put together a slide show of an individual growing up through the years. You get to see someone as a smiling infant, a toddler taking first steps, a child playing sports, family moments, etc. And then you glance at them live and in person reaching a fulfillment of all of those pictures. There they are and they have graduated or they are married and the inference of the slide show is clear. Those moments recalled to our minds and imaginations were the steps leading them to where they are today! It’s a glorious celebration of the creativity and sovereignty of God!
I get that picture when looking at this Psalm. Not of an individual, but of a city. We are looking at Jerusalem, the city of God. A place where God has chosen to put his foot stool. He has chosen to put his manifest presence among man. It began with a tabernacle on the hill, it moved to a temple that was destroyed and rebuilt, it was fulfilled in Jesus who walked and talked among mankind, it was where the Holy Spirit was first received on the day of Pentecost and it will be a place where God again dwells with man in the New Jerusalem…. It is God’s Holy city all grown up. Every step, no matter how small. leading to see the fullest expression of God again with his people, no separation, no sin.
At this point I am reminded of a song that I sang in church as a child, “He’s still working on me.” As I see this Psalm rejoicing in the growth and maturity of the city of God, I cannot help but see God’s work in my own life. He has been faithful to save me, call me, set me apart for his kingdom and his glory. I may get frustrated sometimes, I may want to quit or give in to temptation, but I am reminded today that these battles in my own life are but birth pangs leading to something greater.
Father, Thank you for your incredible patience. I am grateful for this Psalm and all it teaches us about the city of God. I am grateful that you are sovereign and see the end from the beginning. I am grateful that you haven’t given up on me and that by your grace one day I might look back and see how far you have caried me along. I want to grow in you and mature in you today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.