There is one city which is the world’s star (Jerusalem),
the most precious pearl of all lands,
because it is God’s city on which His eye is ever resting.
Although it has long been in the dust,
it will be restored again as the capital of the whole earth (Isaiah 62:6-7; Micah 4:8).
1 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.
2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.
3 God is known in her palaces for a refuge.
4 For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together.
5 They saw it, and so they marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away.
6 Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail.
7 Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind.
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.
9 We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple.
10 According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness.
11 Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments.
12 Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof.
13 Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following.
14 For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.
Psalm 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Psalm 48 – “The City of Our God”
This psalm also probably dates from II Chronicles 20:20. Tekoa was only three hours’ march from Jerusalem and commanded an extensive view, so that Psalm 48:4-5 were literally true.
The psalmist celebrates the beauty and glory of Zion, Psalm 48:1-3. The Church today is the City of the great King. Apart from God, the fairest palace is no refuge; but a cottage becomes a palace if God is known and loved there. Judah’s recent deliverance is gratefully commemorated, Psalm 48:4-8. It is a sublime picture: the gathered array, the dismay, flight, and destruction of the foe. Then comes the call to loving thought on God’s care and goodness, Psalm 48:9-14. Notice those two sentences—“As we have heard, so have we seen,” Psalm 48:8; and, “According to thy name… so is thy praise”, Psalm 48:10. Whatever we have been told by our fathers about God, God is prepared to be and do for us; and our aim should be to praise Him worthily. Think of His love till your heart kindles to praise; and remember that this God is yours forever and ever. Let us surrender to Him the guidance of every step, until we pass through death into His immediate presence. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Psalm 48:13—Consider her palaces.
The pious Jew broke into exclamations as he considered the beloved city of his fathers. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth. In proud confidence he challenged the world of men to walk about Zion, count her towers, and mark her bulwarks. Finally they were to traverse her palaces. But what Jerusalem was to the Jews, God’s lovingkindness is to us, as we think of it, in the midst of his temple. Let us consider its beauty and joy, its strength and glory. “How great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty” (Zechariah 9:17)!
Traverse the rooms in the Palace of God’s love—that council-chamber of the eternal foreknowledge where we were chosen in Christ; this suite of apartments, which began with the disrobing-room of Bethlehem, and ended with the golden stairway of Olivet; those mansions of the Home-land which He is preparing for them that love Him; the pavilion whither He will lead his bride where He comes to take her to Himself: then look onward to the new heaven and the new earth, where God shall spread his tabernacle over his people, and all our loftiest ideals will be realized for evermore.
Life is a traversing of the successive rooms of the Palace of Love. They are not alike: each has its own beauty; each leads to something better; in each God is All. Some seem to pass through the rooms veiled or blind; others miss seeing the King. But those who dare to look for Him everywhere, find Him. Always our Christ forever and ever; always our Guide even unto death, and beyond. Always the present opening to something better, as the rosebud to the rose; as the acorn to the oak; as the chrysalis to the butterfly. —Our Daily Homily