Our God’s greatness is infinite
0 A Song and Psalm for the sons of Korah. 1 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. 2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.
- God’s holiness is His infinite and eternal knowledge, power, righteousness, and love.
- ‘mountain of His holiness' is the center of God’s government, and eternal throne.
- God’s city is beautiful, the joy of the earth, described in Revelation 21:10-17.
- Psalm 145:3 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.
- 1Timothy 6:15 Who in his times will show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
He is a refuge
3 God is known in her palaces for a refuge. 4 For, lo, the kings assembled, they passed by together. 5 They saw it, and they marveled; they were troubled, and hurried away. 6 Fear took hold of them there, and pain as a woman in childbirth. 7 You break the ships of Tarshish with an east wind.
- Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
The Lord will guide us even through death
8 As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the LORD of hosts/armies, in the city of our God: God will establish it forever. Selah. 9 We have thought of your love O God, in the midst of your temple. 10 According to your name, O God, so is your praise to the ends of the earth: your right hand is full of righteousness. 11 Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of your judgments. 12 Walk about Zion, and go around her: count its towers. 13 Consider her ramparts, go through her palaces; that you may tell it to the next generation. 14 For this God is our God forever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.
Psalm 23:4 Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for you are with me…
0 To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah. 1 Hear this, all you people; give ear, all you inhabitants of the world: 2 Both low and high, rich and poor, together. 3 My mouth will speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart will be of understanding. 4 I will incline my ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying on the harp. 5 Why should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels surrounds me?
- Jeremiah 2:19 Your own wickedness will correct you, and your backslidings will reprove you: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that you have forsaken the LORD your God, and that my fear is not in you, says the Lord GOD of hosts.
Our redemption is precious to the Lord
6 They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; 7 None of them can by any means redeem his brother or give to God a ransom for him: 8 (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceases for ever:) 9 That he should still live forever, and not see corruption.
- This word for redemption means to purchase something with such good credit that you can walk away without paying for it at that time.
- Jesus did this with the saints of the Old Testament.
- He is on such good standing with the Father that the saints of the Old Testament went free from all their sin because of the price that Jesus had promised to pay for them.
- God made man in His own image.
- He placed the highest value on us. Our redemption cost God everything.
- 1Peter 1:18 you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain way of life received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot:
10 For he sees that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others. 11 Their inner thought is, that their houses will continue forever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names. 12 Nevertheless man being in honor does not remain: he is like the animals that perish. 13 This is the way of those who are foolish, And of their posterity who delight in their sayings. Selah
He gives His saints dominion
14 Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death will feed on them; and the upright will have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty will consume in the grave from their dwelling. 15 But God will redeem my soul from the hand of the grave: for he will receive me. Rest on it. 16 Do not be afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; 17 For when he dies he will carry nothing away: his glory will not descend after him. 18 Though while he lived he blessed his soul: and men will praise you, when you do well to yourself. 19 He will go to the generation of his fathers; they will never see light. 20 Man that is in honor and does not understand is like the animals that perish.
- Like a lion crouching over a carcass, death feeds on those who refused God’s offer of eternal life through Christ’s death on the cross.
- 2Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any perish, but that all come to repentance.
- Daniel 7:22… the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.
The LORD calls to us from sunrise to sunset
0 A Psalm of Asaph. 1 The mighty God, the LORD, has spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun to its going down. 2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God has shined.
- God is always calling to earth, to everyone, because the sun is always rising somewhere and the sun is always setting somewhere.
3 Our God will come, and not keep silent: a fire devours before him, and it will be very tempestuous round about him. 4 He will call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people. 5 Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. 6 And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Rest on it.
- The sacrifice was a sign of God’s promise to send a Savior to die for sin so that man could return to fellowship with God.
- Cain, in his pride, brought his own works to God and was not accepted (Genesis 4).
- God’s legal contract with His people is by faith in the shed blood of His Son for sin.
- This verse gives God’s definition of a saint—those who have made a covenant with Him by sacrifice.
- In Genesis 4, after man fell into pride and disobedience, we see the children of Adam and Eve bringing sacrifices to God.
- Abel’s sacrifice was a lamb.
- One modern archaeologist concluded that people in many ancient civilizations in the area of Mesopotamia were fond of eating lamb because of the number of lambs bones regularly found in earth’s most ancient civilizations.
- John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming to him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.
- Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
- John 5:22 For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment unto the Son:
7 Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against you: I am God, even your God. 8 I will not reprove you for your sacrifices or your burnt offerings, to have been continually before me. 9 I will take no bull out of your house or he goats out of your folds. 10 For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. 11 I know all the birds of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine/with me. 12 If I were hungry, I would not tell you: for the world is mine, and its fullness.
- God knows all His animals, they are His.
- Psalm 24:1 The earth is the LORD’s, and the fullness of it; the world, and they that dwell in it. 2 For he has founded it on the seas, and established it on the floods.
13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? 14 Offer to God thanksgiving; and pay your vows to the most High: 15 And call on me in the day of trouble: I will deliver you, and you will glorify me. 16 But to the wicked God says, What is it to you to declare my statutes or that you take my covenant in your mouth? 17 Since you hate instruction, and cast my words behind you.
- Notice who God considers wicked—those who hate instruction and cast away His words.
- He is Most High.
- He is smart enough and powerful enough to create and sustain the universe.
- No one comes close to comparing to Him.
- He loves us so much that He sent His Son to die for our sins.
- There is no love that compared to that.
- In every way, He alone is infinitely superior.
18 When you saw a thief you consented with him, and have been partaker with adulterers. 19 You give your mouth to evil, and your tongue frames deceit. 20 You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son. 21 You have done these things, and I kept silent; you thought that surely I was like yourself: but I will reprove you, and set them in order before your eyes.
- Plays, TV, Movies, and songs often bring us to sympathy with the bad guys. We feel sorry for them at first and by the end we are cheering when they succeed in the big heist or finally are with their ‘true love.’
- The victims are forgotten---the people who were stolen from and the spouse and children hurt by the adultery.
- Let’s not be seduced in our thinking by entertainment. Lets learn to think like God thinks.
- Proverbs 4:23 Guard your heart with all diligence; for out of it arethe issues of life.
22 Now consider this, you that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. 23 Whoever offers praise glorifies me: and to him that sets his behavior in right order I will show the salvation of God.
0 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him after he had gone in to Bathsheba. 1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your love: according to the multitude of your tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
- ‘Never be sympathetic with the soul whose case makes you come to the conclusion that God is hard. God is more tender than we can conceive…” Oswald Chambers
- Psalm 36:7 How excellent is your loving kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of your wings.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned, and done evil in your sight: that you might be justified when you speak, and clear when you judge. 5 Behold, I was shaped in iniquity; and in sin my mother conceived/warmed me.
- All sin is against God first. He knows our thoughts. We think it before we do it.
- Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
- Acts 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being…
- 1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
God desires His truth inside us
6 Behold, you desire truth in the inner parts: and in the hidden part you will make me to know wisdom. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I will be clean: wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones that you have broken may rejoice.
- God’s word is truth (John 17:17). Whatever contradicts God’s word is false.
- Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives. 7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without discipline, of which all are partakers, then are you bastards, and not sons.
9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right/constant spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me away from your presence; and do not take your holy spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation; and uphold me with a willing spirit. 13 Then will I teach transgressors your ways; and sinners will be converted to you. 14 Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation: and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. 15 O Lord, open my lips; and my mouth will show forth your praise.
- Righteousness means being right.
- God is always perfectly and completely right.
- Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
- Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
He does not desire sacrifice; He desires humility
16 For you do not desire sacrifice; else would I give it: you do not delight in burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. 18 Do good in your good pleasure to Zion: build the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then you will be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then they will offer bulls on your altar.
- God’s truth protects our hearts from the enemy who would plunder our joy, who would steal our thoughts of love from God, who would distract us our whole lives so that we miss the wonders that God has for us.
- Zion symbolizes the place in our lives where the last enemy of our hearts has been defeated.
- Building the walls of Jerusalem (the peace of our hearts) protects the victory.
- 2Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
- Deuteronomy 8:3 And he humbled you, and allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna, which you did not know, neither did your fathers know; that he might make you know that man does not live by bread only, but man lives but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.
The goodness of God endures continually
0 To the chief Musician, Maschil, A Psalm of David, when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul, and said to him, David has come to the house of Ahimelech. 1 Why do you boast yourself in evil, O mighty man? The goodness of God endures continually. 2 Your tongue devises ruin like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. 3 You love evil more than good; and lying rather than speaking righteousness. Rest on it. 4 You love all devouring words, O deceitful tongue.
- Some words devour, some give life.
- John 1 shows that Jesus words began in Genesis 1.
- John 6:63 … the words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life.
5 God will destroy/beat you down you, forever, he will take you away, pluck you out of your dwelling place, and root you out of the land of the living. Rest on it. 6 The righteous will see, and fear, and will laugh at him: 7 Behold, this is the man that did not make God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his eager coveting.
God’s mercy is worthy of trust
8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the love of God forever and ever. 9 I will praise you forever, because you have done it: and I will wait on your name; for it is good before your saints.
- The word ‘name’ means person.
- Today the name of Jesus has become a talisman, a good luck charm.
- People trust the name more than the person.
- That isn’t what God desires.
- God desires that we trust the living God, Maker of heaven and earth, who is with us.
- Psalm 36:5 Your love, O LORD, is in the heavens; and your faithfulness reaches unto the clouds.
- Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law he meditates day and night. 3 He will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth his fruit in season; his leaf will not wither; and whatever he does will prosper.
God exists-we are here
0 To the chief Musician on Mahalath, a contemplation, A Psalm of David.
1 The fool has said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, and have done hateful wickedness: there is none doing good.
- God’s existence is proved by all Creation.
- If a child comes home from play to find milk and cookies on the table, the child would be absurd to say there is no mother
because he doesn’t see her standing there. She left evidence.
- If a man comes home to find the lock on his door broken and his valuables missing, he does not say, there is no burglar because I can’t see him.
- Romans 1:19 … that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God has showed it to them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
He looks down from heaven to see if any seek Him
2 God looked down from heaven on the children of men, to see if there were any that understood, that sought God. 3 Every one of them has turned away: they have altogether become filthy; there is none that does good, no, not one. 4 Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge? Who eat up my people as they eat bread: they have not called on God.
- Acts 17:24 God that made the world and all things in it, since he is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, since he gives to all life, and breath, and all things; 26 And has made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined the times before appointed, and the boundaries of their habitation; 27 That they should seek the Lord, if perhaps they might feel after him, and find him, though he is not far from every one of us: 28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being
5 There they feared with dread, where there was no fear: for God has scattered the bones of him that camps against you: you have put them to shame, because God rejects them. 6 Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God brings back the captivity of his people, Jacob will rejoice, and Israel will be glad.
- The children of Israel were taken captive many times, recorded in the Bible, particularly in the book of Judges.
- This is a picture of evil taking us captive when we follow false things more than God.
- The book of Job illustrates this.
- Returning to God and resting in Him brings deliverance.
- Isaiah 30:15 In returning and rest you will be delivered; in quietness and in confidence will be your strength…
0 To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil, A Psalm of David, when the Ziphims came and said to Saul, David hides himself with us. 1 Save me, O God, by your name, and judge me by your strength. 2 Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth. 3 For foreigners have risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul: they have not set God before them. Rest on it.
- God is the one who saves us, not His name alone.
- The name of God is used as a good luck charm today, just like the ark of the covenant in ancient times.
- The people thought if they took the ark of the covenant with them that they would win the battle, but it was God Himself who fought their battles and gave them the victory (1 Samuel 4).
- Psalm 107:6 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.
- John 5:22 For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment unto the Son:
God is our helper
4 Behold, God is my helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul. 5 He will reward evil to my enemies/those that watch me: cut them off in your truth. 6 I will freely sacrifice to you: I will praise your name, O LORD; for it is good. 7 For he has delivered me out of all trouble: and my eye has seen his desire on my enemies.
- ‘Behold’ means look at this. God is my helper.
- He will reward evil to our enemies.
- Our enemies are those seen and unseen beings who refuse God’s truth and try to destroy God’s truth.
- He asks that God cut them off in His truth.
- He delivers us out of all trouble.
- Hebrews13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me.
- John 17:17 Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.
0 To the chief Musician on Neginoth, an instruction on being circumspect, A Psalm of David. 1 Give ear to my prayer, O God; and do not hide yourself from my supplication. 2 Attend to me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise, 3 because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity on me, and in wrath they hate me. 4 My heart is pained within me: and the terrors of death have fallen on me. 5 Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has covered me. 6 And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! Then would I fly away, and be at rest. 7 Behold, then I would wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Rest on it. 8 I would hurry my escape from the windy storm and tempest.
- God teaches us that He is our rest, not our circumstances.
- Psalm 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
- Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and low in heart: and you will find rest to your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
9 Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues: for I have seen violence and strife in the city. 10 Day and night they go about it on its walls: trouble and mischief are in the midst of it. 11 Wickedness is in the midst of it; deceit and guile do not depart from her streets. 12 For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that magnified himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: 13 But it was you, a man my equal, my guide, and my acquaintance. 14 We took sweet counsel together, and walked to the house of God in company. 15 Let death seize on them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them. 16 As for me, I will call on God; and the LORD will save me. 17 Evening, and morning, and at noon, I will pray, and cry aloud: and he will hear my voice.
- The LORD has delivered us in peace from the battle
that rages against us.
18 He has delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: even though many still oppose me. 19 God will hear and afflict them, even he that abides of old. Selah. Because they have no changes, therefore they do not fear God. 20 He has put forth his hands against such as are at peace with him: he has broken/profaned his covenant. 21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.
- God has always existed.
- Ephesians 6:12 we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
- Psalm 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.
22 Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you: he will never allow the righteous to be moved. 23 But you, O God, will bring them down to the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men will not live out half their days; but I will trust in you.
- The Lord sustains us and keeps us steadfast.
- Revelation 1:18 I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
SUMMARY: Psalms 48-55
- Our God's greatness is infinite
- He is a refuge
- He will guide even through death
- Our redemption is precious to the LORD
- He gives His saints dominion
- He calls to earth from sunrise to sunset
- God deisres His truth inside us
- He does not desire animal sacrifices but rather humility
- God's goodness endures continually
- His mercy is worthy of our trust
- God's creation is proof that He exists
- He looks down from heaven to see if any seek Him
- The LORD is our helper
- He has delivered us in peace from the battle that rages against us
- The Most High is merciful to us