Vs. 1-3 say God saved Zion;
Vs. 4-7 identify His protection;
Vs. 8-14 show how free God’s people are to worship Him.
Psalm 46, 47, and 48 appear to be rejoicing over the same deliverance from destruction, but there is no certainty as to the exact event. What remains, however, is what God’s people must recognize whenever they have been delivered: it was God, not they, who delivered them.
Verse 1-3 show this deliverance was of “the city of our God,” “His holy mountain,” “Mount Zion,” “the city of the great King,” all terms for Jerusalem in Judea. Jesus quoted Psalm 48:1, explaining it referred to “Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King” (Matthew 5:35). God has no “holy city” on earth anymore, for the church of Christ is the “holy city, New Jerusalem” (Revelation 21:2-3), which also is “the tabernacle of God” (“the greater and more perfect tabernacle” Hebrews 9:11-12). The church of Christ today is also “Mount Zion.” “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel” (Hebrews 12:22-24). Jesus truly said, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). He has, indeed, preserved and protected the church of Christ throughout history!
Verses 4-7 mention that while the “kings assembled” for strength, instead “passed by” the city, for once they “saw,” they “marveled,” “troubled,” and left in haste. Once “fear” gripped them like a woman giving birth or “an east wind” forcing good ships to wreck, their attack failed. It was an “east wind” that brought famine to Egypt (Genesis 41:25-32) then divided the Red Sea but withdrew and destroyed the Egyptian army (Exodus 14:21-28). Again, an “east wind” depicts how God simply brings man’s strengths to nothing.
Verses 8-14 reflect on what God has done in preserving “the city of the LORD” “forever.” His “lovingkindness” and righteous “right hand” give rise to thoughts of “praise to the ends of the earth.” To “mark well” the “bulwarks” (defense towers) and “palaces” (comfortable rooms), God’s people are motivated to “tell it to the generation following.” Each generation whose faith understands God’s ways has not finished its work unless the next generation has been taught! He “is God, Our God forever and ever” and will always be there for us and the next generation who seek Him. We must see that they know Him!
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.