The Gospel According to Psalms: Restoration and the Unshakable Kingdom (Psalm 48)

Restoration and the Unshakable Kingdom

The Gospel according to Psalms:

We are image bearers, created by God

Broken by sin

Reconciled by the blood of Christ

Restored and secured by God, eternally

Psalm 48 is a hymn and ritual worship song that was sung by Jewish pilgrims to Jerusalem.  It is a song that praises the eternal attributes of God by looking at the physical architecture of Jerusalem.  The psalm directs the pilgrims’ attention to the elevated mount as they approach the city, the walls and citadels as they enter the city, the temple mount and dwelling of God for worship, and the towers/ramparts as they leave.  This is a psalm sung to remember the majesty, glory, and eternal protection/deliverance of God.

The object of praise is the Lord God, symbolized through the mount, the temple, and stronghold/citadels.  It is a hymn of celebration that God dwells in His chosen city, has defended His chosen city, and preserves His chosen city.  Jerusalem was the chosen city of God, to be His dwelling place in Old Testament time.  It was the house/tabernacle of his divine glory in the ark.  Take a moment and reflect on the historical significance of Jerusalem:

David united the kingdom and brought the ark to Jerusalem…Solomon built the temple…Jesus presented himself as king during the triumphal entry…Jesus was crucified, buried, raised, and ascended…the Gospel is first preached…the first church is formed…there will be a new Jerusalem in the new heaven and new earth.

Verses 1-4 – As the pilgrims of OT times praised God’s city for its protection, we can greatly praise the Lord today, because He is our Mount Zion, Jesus is our Great King, and God is our fortress for every situation.

Verses 5-6 – we do not have to tremble or fear the attacks of the world because He/God establishes our faith, gives us strength, and defends the city.

Verse 8 – as believers, we have seen and experienced the deliverance of God first hand.  In our sanctification process, we are learning that God is unchangeable, eternally consistent, and faithful.  He gives us faith through the calling of the Gospel.  Jesus lived the perfect life that none of us can live, he died the death none of us can die for the penalty of sin, he was buried and raised, defeating the grave, sin, and hell.  He is now in heaven, at the right hand of the Father, preparing a place for us.

Verses 9-10 – he is steadfast and true.  He now lives in us, through the Holy Spirit, “in the midst of the temple” and we are charged to tell of his riches and righteousness to the “ends of the earth”.

Verse 13 – we are instructed to “tell the next generation” of the greatness of God.  Jesus is King, God’s promises are true, God will protect and provide for His church, God lives in us through the Holy Spirit, and God will secure us in eternity in the new Jerusalem.

Verse 14 – He promises to guide us, through His word, forever and ever, even beyond death.

 

Study Questions:

  1. Discuss examples of how you see the greatness of God in your surroundings and life.
  2. Share an example of when God has been your fortress and stronghold.  What did he teach you in that moment or experience?
  3. Share ideas with each other on how to leave a legacy for your children and/or family.
  4. At times, we all struggle with self-reliance and maybe even doubt in our eternal security.  How can you use the promises of this Psalm or the previous Psalms (8, 51, 103) to praise God, rely on God, and be secure in God?