Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Psalm 48

"The trumpet spake not
to the armed throng,
But kings sat still,
with awful eye,
As if they surely knew
their sovereign Lord was by."

"For, lo, the kings assembled themselves,
They passed by together.
They saw it, then they were amazed;
they were terrified,
they fled in alarm.

"Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
In the city of our God, His holy mountain.
Beautiful in elevation, The joy of the whole earth,
Is Mount Zion in the far north, The city of the great King.
God, in her palaces, Has made Himself known as a stronghold."

My thoughts on this psalm are with the background of the news of the ISIS bombings in Brussels in which eight Americans have been critically injured.  This is in the same atmosphere of the threats against Israel, and key addresses by presidential candidates who pledge their support, even some declaring their stance on moving the capitol of Israel back to Jerusalem.  Thus understanding this psalm is timely.


Though the psalms are written concerning events in history, they are not limited to just that perspective.  While these are written about Jerusalem, they are also symbolic of the Church, His habitation, which is "impregnable, immovable, and consists of persons sanctified by God the Father, in the Son, and through the Spirit."

First photo of Jerusalem, 1844.
"Christ the great Saviour appeared, even in the temple, when a child, where Simeon and Anna saw him, and spoke great things; where He at twelve years of age disputed with the doctors, and showed His great wisdom; here He entered in great triumph, attended with the shouts, acclamations, and hosannas of the people; here He ate his last Passover and His disciples; and in a garden near it He was taken and brought before the Sanhedrim, assembled as the high priest's palace at Jerusalem; and then tried and condemned at the bar of Pilate; when being led out of the city He was crucified on Mount Calvary; and on another mount, the mount of Olives; about a mile from it, He ascended to heaven; and here in this city He poured forth His Spirit in an extraordinary manner on His disciples at the day of Pentecost...and from hence His Gospel went forth into all the world; and therefore was greatly to be praised...Jerusalem is a figure of the Gospel Church, Christ is the foundation." (Gill's Commentary)

So this Passion week, to think of Jerusalem in this light
 of the life of our Savior who said...

"So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,
but are fellow citizens with the saints,
and are of God's household,
having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets,
Christ Jesus Himself being the CORNERSTONE,
in whom the whole building,
being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord;
in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit."
(Ephesians 2:19-22)

"Jesus answered and said to them,
'Destroy this temple,
and in three days I will raise it up.'"

 (John 2:19)

He, of course, was referring to His upcoming crucifixion
and resurrection in three days.
This signifies that He is indeed the Holy Place
where the curtain was rent in two from top to bottom
so that we can enter into the holy of holies.

 The Dome of the Rock is built upon the Temple Mount
where Rome torn down the temple in 70 AD.
However Muslims claim this spot as where
Mohamed received His teachings.  This is not what
Jesus referred to when He said...

"...upon this rock I will build My church;
and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it."
(Matthew 16:18)

These verses definitely fuse the temple with the Church, not a building but of whom it is said,
"If it had been possible to destroy the church of the living God, it had been gone long, long ago."
Even more shocking is the truth then that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit.
So girls, daughters of Judah, rejoice and be glad.
Yep, that's us.

"Thy beauty was perfect through My comeliness...
is where hearts love and ... follow Christ."

"We have thought on Your lovingkindness, O God,
In the midst of Your temple...
Let Mount Zion be glad,
Let the daughters of Judah rejoice."
(Psalm 48:9, 11)


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