Summary: Psalm 48 - sermon by Gordon Curley. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


(1). God and Their City (vs 1-3)

(2). God and Their Enemies (vs 4-7)

(3). God and Their Worship (vs 8-11)

(4). God and Their Future (vs 12-14)



• It's like the real estate agents' mantra: ‘location, location, location’.

• It's the number one rule in real estate.

• After all you can buy the right home but in the wrong location.

• And although you can change the structure by totally remodelling your home;

• Both inside and out - ordinarily, you cannot move it

• So remember before you shell out your hard earned cash;

• On a particular property,

• Remember the number one rule in real estate; ‘location, location, location’.

• When it comes to real estate people really do care where they live,

• The more striking the setting, the happier they are

• TRANSITION: In describing the city of God, Jerusalem.

• The psalmist asserts that its setting is absolutely perfect.

• This psalm sets out all the qualities of the city;

• A city where God has chosen to make his presence felt in a special way.

• Note: The emphasis in the psalm is on the Lord and Mount Zion.

• There are other psalms about Zion – they are 76; 84; 87; 122; and 132.

Question: What is meant by the name “Zion”?


• “Zion” is a place name often used as a synonym, a substitute for Jerusalem.

• The word “Zion” is first found in your Bibles in 2nd Samuel chapter 5 verse 7.

• Where we read:

• “Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion--which is the City of David”

• “Zion,” was originally the name of an ancient Jebusite fortress in the city of Jerusalem.

• Zion was the hill on which the higher and more ancient part of the city was built,

• This fortress had been built on the highest point – the north east corner of the city.

• Over the years “Zion” came to stand not only for the fortress;

• But also for the surrounding city of Jerusalem in which the fortress stood.

You probably know that Jerusalem is a city built on four hills:

• “Zion” was the highest of the four hills;

• And in the Bible, Mount Zion is synonymous with Mount Moriah,

• The site of the binding of Isaac by Abraham.

• When Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem,

• “Zion” expanded in meaning to include the temple and the area surrounding it.

• And at the time of Jesus, it was occupied by Herod’s enormous temple.

• As time went by;

• The name “Zion” was eventually used not just as a name for the city of Jerusalem,

• It was used to refer the land of Judah,

• And it was also used to refer to the people of Israel as a whole!

• (Isaiah 40:9; Jeremiah 31:12; Zechariah 9:13).


• In parts of the Old Testament (i.e. Isaiah 60:14).

• The name “Zion” was used figuratively used of Israel as the people of God

• That meaning of the term “Zion” is continued over in the New Testament,

• Where Christians are also called the people of God.

• i.e. Peter refers to Christ as the Cornerstone of Zion (1 Peter chapter 2 verse 6).

“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone,

and the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame”


• In the Psalms (and the Old Testament):

• “Zion” primarily refers to the City of Jerusalem. The city where God dwells.

• We should note that Jesus himself (Matthew chapter 5 verse 35).

• Referred to Jerusalem as, “The city of the Great King"."

• In the New Testament is refers to God's spiritual kingdom;

• That is in all true Christians God is king,

• God is dwelling by his Holy Spirit in all of his people.

This psalm deal with four important topics.

(1). God and Their City (vs 1-3).

“Great is the LORD, and most worthy of praise,

in the city of our God, his holy mountain.

2 Beautiful in its loftiness,

the joy of the whole earth,

like the heights of Zaphon is Mount Zion,

the city of the Great King.

3 God is in her citadels;

he has shown himself to be her fortress.”

• The Jewish peoples glory in Jerusalem;

• Was something more than merely patriotic feelings.

• i.e. it was altogether a different thing from say the Roman's pride in Rome.

• For the devout Jew, there was one thing, and one thing only, that made Zion glorious;

• This city was God abode.

• There may well have been other cities bigger in size;

• More secure against enemy attack,

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