Monday, July 6, 2009

God is our defense

There are two ways to read Psalm 48:

1. This breath-taking psalm could be read as a literal hymn celebrating Jerusalem,
God's special city, which God defends from enemies. God is her fortress and defense Ps. 48:3

Ps. 48: 4-8 depicts a time when "kings" assembled and came together to overthrow God's people. Their efforts were futile. In a state of fear, and utter panic, the enemies of God tremble in anguished defeat.

The psalm concludes with gratitude for God's steadfast love. As your name, O God, so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth Psalm 48: 10. I think the "ends of the earth" here refers to God's sovereign plan to save the world.

The strength of Zion is not in her armies, her kings, her ramparts but in God. Tell the next generation of God's power to save. He will be our guide forever.

2. One may also read this psalm as an expression God's presence and power manifested through his kingdom, not just Jerusalem. The New Testament understands Zion as the collective people of God. Like ancient Israel, God's people face dark, demonic enemies. These enemies attack, seduce, and pollute God's people with false teaching.

But our God is forever and ever. As he guided the ancient church, he will guide his people and save us from all enemies. I hope you believe this with all your heart!

Father, you promised that even though a host should rise up against us, our hearts will not fear. No weapon of the enemy formed against us your people will prosper. You are our rock and our fortress; in you we hide. Thank you that the One in us and with us is greater than the one who is in the world. Amen