Summary: Do you contemplate the love of the Lord for you? Do you thinkabout him as the King of the earth and the King of your heart? In these psalms, catch a vision for what it will be like when Jesus rules.
Psalm 47 is about declaring how wonderful our king really is.
1 – 4
I picture the king coming into the palace as His people should for joy. They are saying that our God is awesome in that he has given the land of Israel (the “pride of Jacob”) to His people as an inheritance.
As those that belong to Jesus, we too have an inheritance:
1 Peter 1:3-6 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who are being protected by God's power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
5 – 7
Here God is pictured ascending up to the throne as the people are singing praises. Verse 7 says to sing a song of “wisdom.” It is also translated “instruction”. Or “Sing praises with understanding” (NKJV). New American says to sing a “skillful” psalm. The Jewish Bible says to “sing psalms in a maskil”. That word can mean “well written” so I guess the idea is to well-craft praise for God, understanding that He is the King of all the earth. We don’t just throw out some random phrases or have repetition for repetition’s sake, but think about what we are saying in praise to the King.
8 – 9
Now God sits on His throne and the people come before Him to worship and praise. I love this: God is on the throne, ruling and reigning, so we do not need to fear!
We will sing this psalm, I believe, when Jesus ascends to His throne in Jerusalem—what a joyful day that will be! For now we can sing this psalm as God ascends the throne of our hearts and rules over the land of our lives—our emotions and motivations and words and actions, hopes, dreams, thoughts, and our destiny!
Psalm 48, the first 2 verses is a well-known worship chorus that we sing today (King James Version). This psalm is about Jerusalem, the city where God put His name (2 Kings 21:4). Jerusalem will be the center of Jesus’ kingdom when He returns, then the New Jerusalem is really the church, the Bride of Christ (Revelation 21:9).
1 – 3
The greatness of Jerusalem can only be described by the greatness of her King: Yahweh. Even so, the church’s beauty can only be described by the beauty and majesty of our King Jesus.
Jerusalem sits on a hill and is nearly impenetrable. Other nations looked at Jerusalem and marveled.
4 – 7
This is a poetic description of how powerful the Lord has been for His people. A woman in labor cannot do much of anything but pay attention to her labor pains. Ships against a gale force wind can’t do nothing except go where the wind blows them. And for us, with the Spirit of God in us we are destined to be with God forever!
The people heard the victories God wrought for His people in the past, but now they have seen them with their own eyes. God will indeed establish Jerusalem forever—as the place where He dwells in the midst of His people.
9 – 11
Now the people come into the Temple and I love what they do-not gloat about the armies that have been defeated but they “contemplate” God’s love. They are so secure that they have no need to worry about their enemies and it becomes something to marvel at—how God could love us so much to protect us in this way.
The fact that God is for them makes everyone in Israel, not just in Jerusalem, glad and rejoice.
12 – 14
Here the people are looking around Jerusalem—Zion is the ridge on which Jerusalem is built. But notice what they report as they look at the strength of the city—that God is forever and forever our leader.
I want to leave the discussion of this psalm by picturing when the Lord Jesus comes back to Jerusalem to once again make it the capital of the world:
Zechariah 14:3-9 Then the Lord will go out to fight against those nations as He fights on a day of battle. 4 On that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. The Mount of Olives will be split in half from east to west, forming a huge valley, so that half the mountain will move to the north and half to the south. 5 You will flee by My mountain valley, for the valley of the mountains will extend to Azal. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come and all the holy ones with Him.