The Glory of Jerusalem as the City of God
The Glory of Jerusalem as the City of God
Psalm 48. As with the others in this series (Psa. 42 – 49), this is a Psalm of the sons of Korah. The Psalm speaks of the blessedness of Jerusalem in the Millennium, as the city of God. Other passages that speak of Jerusalem’s glory in the Millennium would be Isa. 2, Isa. 60, Micah 4, Micah 5, Zech. 14.
A Song; a Psalm. Of the sons of Korah.
1 Great is Jehovah, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the hill of his holiness.
v.1 Jehovah Praised in the City. The theme of the restored and rebuilt city of Jerusalem is the praise of Jehovah. Spiritually, it is called “the hill of his holiness” after the restoration has been complete. Compare with its earlier state; “the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified” (Rev. 11:8).
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 known in her palaces as a high fortress.
4 For behold, the kings assembled themselves, they passed by together;
5 They saw, — so they marvelled; they were troubled, they fled in consternation:
6 Trembling took hold upon them there; anguish, as of a woman in travail.
7 With an east wind thou hast broken the ships of Tarshish.
vv.2-7 Zion’s Public Reputation. Jerusalem is called “the city of the great King”, the King being God Himself, who dwells within the city, making it a “high fortress”. In v.4 we find that the kings of the earth assembled themselves in confederacies, and came against Jerusalem. But seeing the city with Messiah in it, the sight brought on great fear and anguish. These enemies were not only confronted by the power of man, but by the mighty power of God. This power is so great that it could destroy a great navy as in a storm. It is interesting that the Beast is said to have a navy (Isa. 18:2; Num. 24:24), and also the king of the north (Dan. 11:40). Perhaps this navy refers to the former.1
8 As we have heard, so have we seen, in the city of Jehovah of hosts, in the city of our God: God doth establish it for ever. Selah.
9 We have thought, O God, of thy loving-kindness, in the midst of thy temple.
10 According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness.
vv.8-10 The Character of God Known in the City and Temple. For the faithful, those who come up to Jerusalem to worship God will find it every bit as wonderful as they had heard; “As we have heard, so have we seen”. This is a reference to Psalm 44, when Israel is outside the land, they said “We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the times of old” (Psa. 44:1). But now they see it with their own eyes! It is called “the city of Jehovah of hosts”, “the city of our God”. Jerusalem has been trodden down and destroyed many times, but this time “God doth establish it for ever”. In the temple, the thoughts of God’s character come before His people; i.e. His loving kindness in delivering Israel. Before they thought of Him from outside the land (Psa. 42:6), but now they are in His habitation! From there, praise to God goes forth “unto the ends of the earth”. Not only His loving-kindness but His righteousness is praised!
11 Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments.
12 Walk about Zion, and go round about her: count the towers thereof;
13 Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces: that ye may tell it to the generation following.
14 For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide until death.
vv.11-14 The Joy of the Inhabitants of Zion. The restored people of Israel are encouraged to walk around Zion, surveying her architecture, rejoicing because of what God has done for her. No longer in ruins, Zion will be rebuilt into a glorious city. They will consider the magnificence of the city; the towers, the bulwarks, and the palaces of that city will be wonderful. There is an instruction here to tell it to the generation following. As the Millennium rolls on, there will be a generation born that has not seen the great deliverance of God, and they will need to be told. In v.14, Israel’s devotion to God in the Millennium is expressed; “this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide until death”.