Seeing Jesus in Psalm 48 - More Than Just a Black Friday Prelude

Seeing Jesus in Psalm 48 – “More Than Just a Black Friday Prelude”


Psalm 48:1 – “Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised in the city of our God! His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation, is the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, in the far north, the city of the great King.”


Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  I love everything about it, the family gatherings, the food, the football, the pumpkin pie.  It truly is a wonderful time of the year, a time of feasting, fellowshipping and being thankful.  I am afraid however that we excel in the first one, do pretty good in the second one, and yet some how manage to fail in the last one.  We eat, we spend time with loved ones, but do we really take time to be thankful?  We may give it lip service, and even spend a few minutes contemplating things to be thankful for, but do we really take that day and express heartfelt thanks?


Generally speaking we probably don’t.  We spend the day running here and there, and use it as a springboard to the ever more popular Christmas season.  We jump from fall right into Christmas and we don’t take time in the middle to be thankful.  The day set aside for Thanksgiving becomes in many ways just another day.  And now it becomes a day for shopping because stores are now opening on Thanksgiving so that their customers can beat the Black Friday rush.  Thanksgiving has become little more than the prelude to Black Friday or in many ways just a day mirroring Black Friday itself.  Yet it should be more.


The Psalmist, or in the case of Psalm 48 the Psalmists called the sons of Korah take time to be thankful.  In fact they begin their psalm, their song, their call to praise and worship with an emphatic, “Great it the Lord and greatly to be praised.”  In other words this God is so great how could we not praise Him, but not just praise Him, how could we not praise Him greatly.  How could we not do more than just give Him lip service, or a cursory thank you, how could we not truly worship and be glad because of who He is and what He has done, and also what He is going to do.  That is what this psalm is about.  They didn’t have a day set aside for Thanksgiving when it was written as we do now, but it is a genuine, heartfelt passionate cry to worship and to be thankful. 


Thankful for what?  That God is the King, and as such He is in total sovereign control.  Thankful that He has made Himself known (v. 3).  Thankful for His unimaginable power (v. 4-7), thankful that He has established a coming city (v. 8), thankful for His security and permanence (v. 8).  Thankful especially for His steadfast, unchanging love (v. 9), for His righteousness (v. 10).  Thankful for His judgment and that He gives us a reasons to rejoice (v. 11), thankful that He gives us His presence and that He guides us in this life and even beyond death (v. 14). 


This psalm is a majestic psalm.  A psalm focused on the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, a psalm that declares His glory.  We don’t know the tune that this psalm was sung to (perhaps we will one day), but as I read it I imagine that it wasn’t a quite reflective tune.  This is not Easy Listening radio, instead it is a triumphant call, a shout of joy, “come and worship this King,” who in His grace gives us the privilege of worshipping Him.


This psalm declares as the study notes in the Gospel Transformation Bible tells us, that God has a special plan for His people.  He will one day give them a city, the city of God, or as the writers of this psalm put it, “the city of the great King.”  Jesus will one day return and establish the city of God on the new heaven and the new earth.  It will be a city that shines to the end of the earth (v. 10).


The church of Jesus Christ in our world today should be a shadow of that coming city.  We should be a precursor or a forerunner that exists to be a “city set on a hill” that points people to the glory of God, in Christ Jesus.  His “steadfast love” then becomes something that we bask in and something that we are thankful for, but beyond that it becomes something that moves us and motivates us to “be glad” and “rejoice” and point others to Jesus, the coming King, who holds the key to the city. 


We today are called to live with one eye on that city, clinging to and cherishing the King that “leads us and guides us even beyond death (v. 14)”, but we must also remember those here who are not a part of that city.  We must as we rejoice in the Good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, be burdened for those who don’t know that good news.  This burden will cause us to live not for this world but for the next.  We will be burden for our cities (or towns, or suburbs) and because of that burden we will live selflessly so that we might introduce others to the glory of God in Christ Jesus.  We will want to declare forth His praises so that others can know the hope that we have, a hope that says “through Jesus there is a coming city of God”.  That drives us to live not for ourselves, but for the one who makes that city possible and to live loving others so that they too might know Him. 


In short it leads us to live as the Reformers said, “soli de Gloria”, “for the glory of God alone.” And as we live that way, He will give us the privilege of drawing others towards Him.  Who knows this Thanksgiving, as you live truly thankful for all that God has done for you in Christ, it might just be that lost family member or friend that you get to introduce to Jesus, and that would be better than the food, the football, or even the pumpkin pie.  To God be the glory!

Contents © 2020 Sulphur Springs Baptist Church • Church Website Builder by mychurchwebsite.netPrivacy Policy