Psalms 46,47,48 Hope in a time of political Trouble
11th May 2014, mgh
1) Psalms 46,47,48
We live, without doubt, in a world that is troubled and without solutions to the problems that beset mankind. Daily the news media bring us visions of war, discontent, violence and suffering. World leaders and politicians may appear to speak with a voice of authority but they appear helpless in the face of these calamities and there can only be one solution to the world's unrest and ever increasing violence.
Many Psalms, like the voice of the prophets, give us a hope and a promise of a better future to come. Psalms 46 to 48 together seem to form a vision of the future and encapsulate the words of the prophets, who have revealed the future calamities and the peace yet to come. Psalm 46 begins with a plea to place our confidence in Yahweh. He is our “refuge” even when the physical earth is moved, or the people and nations “rage” we should not fear. A city is mentioned that shall not be moved and that God will “help”. This is further developed in Psalm 48.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. Yahweh of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. (Psalms 46:1-7)
The remaining verses in Psalm 46 present the vision of Yahweh's future work in the earth. The wars that we see in the world today will cease and the armaments of war will be destroyed. Yahweh's purpose is that he will be known and glorified in the earth. The Psalm begins with a call to consider Yahweh's hand at work in the earth.
Come, behold the works of Yahweh, what desolations he has made in the earth.
He makes wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and cuts the spear in sunder; he burns the chariot in the fire.
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. Yahweh of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. (Psalm 46: 8-11)
The “people of the God of Abraham”, that is those called by his name, whether Jew or Gentile, will be a part of this future age. They have an “inheritance “ yet to be bestowed on the faithful from all ages. Yahweh is all powerful, but will be merciful and remember his covenant of old. He is worthy of all praise.
O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. For Yahweh most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth. He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet. He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah.
God is gone up with a shout, Yahweh with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.
God reigns over the heathen: God sits upon the throne of his holiness. The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted. (Psalms 47)
The city mentioned in Psalm46 is clearly defined in Psalm 48. It is Zion on the mountains of Israel and it will be the “Joy of the whole earth”. The great king is the Messiah, Y'shua. In the gospel of Luke, it is clearly explained that Y'shua was to be a king who would reign on the throne of David, the king of ancient Israel. It was a prophecy for the future, our future also. The gospel of Luke confirms this in his record of the birth of Y'shua.
And, behold, thou(Mary) shall conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS(Y'shua). He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. (Luke 1:31-33)
Psalm 48 commences with the glory that will yet come to Zion.
Great is Yahweh, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. 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 is known in her palaces for a refuge. (Psalms 48:1-3)
When Pilate questioned Y'shua about kingship before his cricifixion, he did not deny that he would be king. As we know he did not become king at that time but the promise had been given that “he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever”(Luke 1:33). The apostle John records that Y'shua informed Pilate that “ Every one that is of the truth hears my voice”. That means that those, who diligently search for understanding and the truth. will hear the message of promise to mankind.
Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, You say that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth hears my voice. (John 18:37)
The nations will ultimately be subdued and subjected to a righteous king, Y'shua, and just laws and a just legal system. It will then be that the whole earth shall be filled with the glory of Yahweh. Psalm 48 has these comments.
For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together. They saw it, and so they marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away. Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail.
You break the ships of Tarshish with an east wind. As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of Yahweh of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever. Selah.
We have thought of thy loving kindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple. (Psalm 48: 4-9)
The great Power of Yahweh will be evident to all current world leaders, who will be subdued. It will be a time of great rejoicing.
According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness. Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgements.
Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following. (Psalm 48: 10-13)
These promises give a lifelong hope and guide, and, a reason for living. The faithful dead will be raised to immortality and a place in this glorious kingdom, when the earth will no longer be polluted and ravaged by man's greed and his destruction of the earth's natural wonders and beauty.
For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death. (Psalm 48:14)
For more you may be interested in our book An Enduring Earth