Psalm Forty Eight is a Song of Celebration
by Greg Pike
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Psalm 47 was a song of victory, of the passion of feeling the victory, and of knowing it. And what might our expected response to be? If there was a victory party, this is where it would be and there would be singing. We would learn the words and the music and we would sing, we can do that if we have seen the Truth. And even if we have forgotten the tune we once knew, we may remember it again before we're through.
Psalm 48 was, and is a beautiful song. But even more, it is a song about beauty, and though the beauty of the original words and tunes are lost, an idea has been carried through, faithful to what's True. It is purest beauty, so fragile it cannot be looked upon without our rough glances disturbing it, yet so hard that it cannot be tarnished and it burns away all that is false.
48. A Song of Beauty
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in his city on his mountain throne.
Beautiful sits Mount Zion, the joy of the earth, and on its northern side the city of the King.
Safe refuge is in her palaces where God is known.
Kings have desired that city but passed on by; marveling but afraid, they left in haste.
Fear took hold of them and they were pained like a woman in travail.
Their force would break on your walls like a ship on the rocks.
As we have heard, so we have seen in the city of our God,
The Lord of hosts will establish it forever. And thus it is.
We considered your loving kindness, O Lord, which dwells in the midst of your temple.
By the power of your name, O Holy One, praise has gone out to the ends of the earth,
Your right hand is full of righteousness.
Let your mountain city rejoice, may her people be glad because of the power of truth.
Walk about Zion, go all about her streets, go up the towers and look across the land.
Remember her walls and the many palaces that you may tell it to generations to come.
For this God is our God forever and ever,
And He will be our guide even in death.
Great is the city of truth and it is established forever. Many have seen it and hoped for the safe refuge of her palaces. Kings have looked upon that city with desire but have turned away, marveling but afraid. What king of this earth has ever established a city based on the truth? The lessons of power and nations have brought mankind to where we are at this moment, still struggling for peace and prosperity yet willing to make wars for gain and because of our fear. We praise the Lordís name and pray to Him for wisdom and guidance in the morning, then betray his trust with our doubt and worry in the afternoon.
There is a better way but it is not to be found in the methods of men. Consider instead the power of loving kindness. It is our Godís greatest weapon and gift to us if we can learn to use it. We are to help one another as best we are able through action, thought and emotion and we will find the power of Truth in our lives. Men fear to lose what they hold most dear, their lives, their power or riches. We hold dear the city of our God which is our city and is meant to be our long home.
We are invited to walk about the city, explore the streets and towers and behold the many palaces. Go up on the walls and survey the beautiful lands all about and tell your children about it. The city is right there before your eyes at this moment, it has always been there and it will be there forever. It is the garden you planted before the weeds came, it is your house decorated for Christmas, the town square and the park as the city fathers hoped it would be. It is an idea so perfect that we can only see it in glimpses but we know that even if the earth were to melt, the idea and the spirit it points toward will remain. He will be our guide always.
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