Psalm 48: Jerusalem’s Glory and Strength

Is God more worthy of praise in one place above another? Why?

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Psalm 48:1–3 A song for Korah’s people.
The Lord is great, most worthy of praise in the city of our God, upon his holy mountain. Beautiful for its elevation, Jerusalem is like the lofty mountains to the north, the joy of the whole earth, the home of our great King.
In its citadels, God reveals himself as our protection.
King James
Psalm 48:1–3 <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. 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.

What made Jerusalem a strong city? What made it weak?

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Psalm 48:4–5 Kings assembled their armies to attack the city. They were amazed when they saw the city. Terrified, they fled.
King James
Psalm 48:4–5 For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together. They saw it, and so they marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away.

What causes God’s enemies to tremble?

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Psalm 48:6–7 They trembled in pain like a woman giving birth. Lord, you broke them up like the east wind shatters mighty ships.
King James
Psalm 48:6–7 Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail. Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind.

How secure are we in God’s promises? Why might we feel insecure?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 48:8 In the city of the Lord’s armies, we have seen the fulfillment of the promise. God will establish it forever. Pause to think about that.
King James
Psalm 48:8 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.

When and where should we meditate upon God’s faithfulness?

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Psalm 48:9 In the midst of your Temple, God, we meditate on your faithfulness.
King James
Psalm 48:9 We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple.

What gives God a reputation for greatness?

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Psalm 48:10 God, your reputation for greatness prompts praise from everywhere on Earth. Your mighty hand brings righteous judgment.
King James
Psalm 48:10 According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness.

How do mountains and cities rejoice?

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Psalm 48:11 Let the Jerusalem mount and the cities of Judah exalt you, rejoicing in your justice.
King James
Psalm 48:11 Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments.

How does examining the walls and counting towers point to God as our defense?

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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 48:12–14 Walk around Jerusalem, and count its towers. Examine the strong walls and fortification of the city, and spread the word to the next generation, for God will be our defense from now until we die.
King James
Psalm 48:12–14 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.