Psalm 48 begins by reminding us how great our God is. “Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised in the city of our God”! The psalmist begins by describing the greatness of God and how worthy He is of our praise. God is the definition of greatness. The writer here talks about “His holy mountain” which likely refers to Jerusalem as contrast with Mount Zion. Having been to Israel last year, Jerusalem is definitely “beautiful in elevation” and sits above the land. It is the “city of the great King” which ultimately is what makes it so wonderful.
The psalmist talks about the many kings that came and saw the refuge of Jerusalem where God was with His people. They came to it, but marveled at it rather than attack it. “As soon as they saw it, they were astounded; they were in panic; they took to flight. Trembling took hold of them there, anguish as of a woman in labor”. When they saw the city, they understood that God was guarding His Holy City and they were afraid to attack as they might offend the King.
“As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God, which God will establish forever”. Here is a beautiful description of God fulfilling His promises and being alive and active in the current day, not merely the past. He has done great things, and has proven over and over to be faithful. God has chosen the city as His own, and has established it forever – it isn’t merely His city for the writing of this Psalm, it is His eternal city that He has chosen to be His forever.
We are reminded that God is a righteous God. “Your right hand is filled with righteousness”. God’s interaction with us is based on this fact. He is righteous and demands the same from us. We have to live a life worthy of Him, or address those places we miss the mark – which is what sin is. That’s why Jesus came to earth, as a way to make us righteous and allow us to put off our sin and put on His righteousness so we can enter into our eternity with God. We have a story to tell. “Tell the next generation that this is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever”. God’s love for us is eternal. We simply need to get right with Him through Christ so we can spent eternity with Him!