Monday, June 6, 2016

The City of Zion

Psalm 48:1-14

A Song and Psalm for the sons of Korah.

“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.” (Psalm 48:1)

David had chosen Jerusalem as his capital, Moving the Ark of the Covenant and the tabernacle there, with the intention of building a temple and dedicating the city to God.  As such God should be praised in Jerusalem far more than anywhere else. 

“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.” (Psalm 48:2-3)

The Jebusites had originally chosen the site of Jerusalem because it was an ideal place for a city, with a good source of water, plenty of farmland nearby to support the city.  The hills and mountains around it provided material for construction and the terrain would make it relatively easy to defend while giving it a natural beauty.  It would be a pleasure to visitors to come there to worship God, and the records of his miracles would impact every aspect of life there. 

“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.  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.” (Psalm 48:4-8)

For nearly five hundred years, the Israelites had been unable to conquer Jerusalem.  The surrounding kings were impressed when David took it over and began to build.  They began to see Israel as a potential threat, and the Jews had begun to realize God’s power seeing him defeat the Navies of the Phoenicians, and growing their country. 

“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. ” (Psalm 48:9-14)

When the Jews looked at Jerusalem and saw the great palaces and the temple Solomon had built, they were forced to consider how much God had blessed them.  They could walk around the city and see the fortifications to ensure their safety, and realize it was God who had made it all possible and that he would be there forever. 

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