April 21 2023
Today, Friday April 21
“Tell it to the Generation Following”
Psalm 48:1-14 – A song. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.
“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised In the city of our God, In His holy mountain. Beautiful in elevation, The joy of the whole earth, Is Mount Zion on the sides of the north, The city of the great King. God is in her palaces; He is known as her refuge.
For behold, the kings assembled, They passed by together. They saw it, and so they marveled; They were troubled, they hastened away. Fear took hold of them there, And pain, as of a woman in birth pangs, As when You break the ships of Tarshish With an east wind.
As we have heard, So we have seen In the city of the LORD of hosts, In the city of our God: God will establish it forever. Selah We have thought, O God, on Your lovingkindness, In the midst of Your temple. According to Your name, O God, So is Your praise to the ends of the earth; Your right hand is full of righteousness. Let Mount Zion rejoice, Let the daughters of Judah be glad, Because of Your judgments.
Walk about Zion, And go all around her. Count her towers; Mark well her bulwarks; Consider her palaces; That you may tell it to the generation following. For this is God, Our God forever and ever; He will be our guide Even to death.”
Psalm 48 is the third of three Psalms (Psalm 46, 47 and 48), written to commemorate the defeat of the Assyrian army in the days of Hezekiah that we read about in 2 Kings 18-19 and Isaiah 37. Psalm 48 could have been written by King Hezekiah or even the Prophet Isaiah as they led the people in worship after God sent an angel and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in one night.
In preparation for today’s chat, we need to think about a couple things. I’ve always pictured that the angel destroyed the whole army of Assyrians but when we read the passages more closely, we find that the rest of the army went back home. This means that maybe only half of them were killed. We are never told the total number of this enemy’s army, so we really don’t know how many were left. But can you imagine when they did wake up that morning and see 185,000 of their fellow soldiers lying dead on the ground around them how they must have been struck with tremendous fear!
Now when you read verses 4-7, you get the picture behind these words: “They saw it, and so they marveled; They were troubled, they hastened away. Fear took hold of them there, And pain, as of a woman in birth pangs”. The writer of this Psalm acknowledges that it was “You”, God, who did it, just as He broke the ships of Tarshish with an east wind. In other words, you might not see the wind or the angel that brought about the destruction on the enemy, but it still really happened!
As I look at of all these verses in this chapter of worship, I see a wonderful application of when we get saved from our great enemy of sin and death. We are surrounded and held captive by the devil, our sin, and face a sure death! We are helpless to deal with this enemy. But then God comes in the Person of Holy Spirit and convicts us of our sin. We are overwhelmed with the guilt of it, and sense our hopeless condition, and maybe even feel the fires of hell about to consume us. “As of a woman in birth pangs” (v. 6). Our eyes are then opened to the Cross of Christ and His resurrection and we by faith believe, and the greatest miracle of our life takes place! We are born again into the family of God!
Jesus said it this way to Nicodemus in John 3:7-8: “Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." We didn’t physically see all the mighty working of God with our own eyes at the Cross and resurrection of Jesus or the mysterious working of the Holy Spirit behind the scenes to bring us to salvation, but we sure know we have experienced the miracle of a great deliverance and salvation!
What did the people do in Psalm 48 after this great deliverance? They went to the temple and worshipped and “thought about God’s lovingkindness” (v. 9). That’s why we go to church, the place of worship, after we get saved! We go to praise and thank the LORD for His lovingkindness and righteousness (v. 10). We rejoice and are glad because through Jesus Christ our sin has been judged, the devil defeated, and we have been set free (v. 11).
We now should tell the “generation following” us of God’s great sacrifice and deliverance (v. 13). And remember that “this God, is our God forever and ever; He will be our guide Even to death.” Amen!