Psalm 48

The people have come, early in the morning, to worship their covenant God at the temple on Mount Zion. As they come, and as they hear the trumpet blowing and calling them to worship, they can look up ahead and see the majestic temple itself. It's an imposing sight, a sight that could never be forgotten - the place God had chosen to meet with His people, a place they excitedly, yet quietly and reverently entered each day to worship and praise Jehovah.

The song led by their worship leader was appropriate to that view of the temple. They sang, "great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in His holy mountain. Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion on the sides of the north, the city of the great King!"

It must have seemed so very natural to sing of the great King Who ruled from this holy mountain over all the kingdoms of the world. As the early-morning sun glistened on the high walls and as the trumpet sounded for the people to gather, they came and they sang of their sovereign God, of His holy temple, and of His chosen nation Israel. It had to be a thrill just to be there taking all this in!

Even foreign kings passing by would have to be impressed as they saw the imposing temple and heard the praises. They might even feel conviction for their sin of worshipping other gods, and they might leave with the thought that this just might be the true and only God!

It was wonderful for Israel to have Jehovah as their heavenly King! They would gladly sing, "We have thought, O God, on Your lovingkindness (a kindness that made them His special people) in the midst of Your temple!" In awe and wonder they would realize that they alone, of all the peoples of the earth were worshipping the only, the true and the majestic GOD. It was only reasonable under such circumstances to sing, "According to Your name, O God, so is Your praise to the ends of the earth; Your right hand is full of righteousness!" And it was only right that the people of such a God should sing to one another, "Let Mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of Your judgements!"

Finally, at the close of the song, they were encouraged to carefully observe the capitol city of their great God, to "walk about Zion, and go all around her, count her towers; mark well her bulwarks; consider her palaces; that you may tell it to the generation following. For this is God, our God forever and ever; He will be our Guide even to death!" In other words, "Pass it on!"

Even in our own day we should sing this song. Christ's Church is the Zion of our day. It's an inheritance your children too should treasure.

We don't have an earthly temple today. Today God's people gather as His Church in every place, and He meets with them wherever they are. But they too should be aware of His awesome Presence and of His lovingkindness to allow them access to Himself. They cannot inspect a city, but they can carefully inspect the Church, the people of God, and they may observe His wonderful works in each and every life. They can see the gifts He has given in order to build them up.

In other words, the symbolic has passed away, and the true has come - the majestic temple is no more, but the true City, the Church, has replaced it. Each of us can and should see what our God has done and is doing - our God forever and ever, our guide, even to death!

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Trinidad Bay on the west coast where Pastor Moak resides.  Photo taken by Al.

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