The City of God
This is a song.
It is a psalm for the music leader.
1 The LORD is great. He really is worth our praise.
His holy mountain is in the city of our God.
2 Mount Zion is in a beautiful place,
and it makes the whole world very happy.
It is the city of the Great King.
It is also called the High Place of Zaphon.
48:2Verses 1-2: The holy mountain is Mount Zion, where they built the temple. But, in this psalm, the holy mountain is all the city of Jerusalem. They had built it on the edge of high land, so when you came to it, it looked beautiful. The High Place of Zaphar was where all old religions thought that their god came to the earth. The psalmist is saying that there is only one Zaphar, and only one God: Jerusalem is the real Zaphar, and the LORD is the real God.
3 God was in its defences and he made them very safe.
4 This was when we saw the kings meeting each other.
They crossed into our country together.
5 Then they saw something that really surprised them.
It made them very frightened so that they hurried away!
6 They were so afraid that they felt pain like a woman having a baby.
7 It was like the east wind that destroys great ships,
like those from Tarshish.
8 We have seen in the city of the LORD of Many Armies
that it was just as people told us.
They told us that God would keep the city of our God safe for ever!
48:8Verses 3-8: The kings in verse 4 were the leaders of the Assyrian army. They attacked Jerusalem, but God kept his city safe, and the people that were in it. The kings saw something that frightened them away. We do not know what it was. Perhaps it was the 185,000 dead bodies! God did this just as easily as he could send a wind to destroy a ship! Tarshish was a place in Spain that had the biggest ships in the world at that time. The people living in Jerusalem saw that what they had heard was true: God will keep his people safe! But they must believe in him, obey him and love him. Later, when the Jews did not do these things, God did not keep their city safe.
9 When we are inside your temple, God, we think of your kind love.
10 Your name reaches to the ends of the world
so that people give you praise.
Your right hand is full of the good things that you do.
11 Because of the things that you decide to do:
· Mount Zion will be very happy
· the daughters of Judah will praise you.
12 Walk all round Zion, go to every side of it. Count the towers,
13 think about its strong buildings and make a note of its defences.
Then you may describe it to your children.
48:13Verses 9-13: After the war was over, the psalmist tells the people to remember what happened. They were to look at all the places that God had made safe. Then they could tell their children what had happened, and the places where it had happened. This would help their children to believe, obey and love God also. The Bible teaches us that it is important to tell our children what God has done for us.
14 For this God is our God for ever and ever.
He will be our guide until we die.
48:14Verse 14: ‘God will be our guide until we die’ means that he will lead if we will follow him. ‘for ever and ever’ means ‘always.’ After we die, we will be with God if we believe, obey and love him.