Theme: Rejoicing in God
From this week’s lessons we learn that this Song of Zion is fundamentally a song of praise to God, who watches over his people in all times and forever.
Scripture: Psalm 48:1-14
A corporate testimony. The third item in this section of the psalm is the people’s corporate testimony to the deliverance, expressed in the words “As we have heard, so have we seen…” (v. 8). It means that we have heard about the powerful acts of God in past days. Our fathers and mothers have told us about them. Now we have seen the power of God for ourselves. He has acted in our time also.
This should be the testimony of every mature child of God. It is important to know about God’s past acts. Indeed, it would be impossible to be a Christian without knowing about them, for we become Christians through faith and faith consists in knowing, believing and acting upon what God has done, especially what he has done for us in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But our experience shouldn’t stop there. We have also heard what God has done in the lives of other people, how he provided for them in hard times, protected them in moments of danger and comforted them in loss. Perhaps you were told of such special acts of God by your parents. As you learn to trust him, you should begin to experience such personal blessings yourself, and you should be able to say, “As I have heard, so have I seen.”
This section ends with the testimony that it is God who made the city of Jerusalem secure. Remember that it is God who makes you secure too. Think about that. The psalm invites you to consider it since the section ends with the word selah, which indicates a pause.
Thus far in Psalm 48 we have had an opening ascription of praise to God, followed by a longer section of praise of Jerusalem which, of course, is itself praising God. In verses 9 and following, this pattern repeats itself again, though in a more personal and direct way. In verses 9-11, the people offer a prayer of praise and thanksgiving. In verses 12 and 13, they are invited to circle the city and see for themselves how thoroughly God has delivered them.
The point of this is that the name of God will be exalted in increasing ways. One is spatial. That is, the praise of God will extend outward from Jerusalem to the “villages” round about (v. 11) and to “the ends of the earth” (v. 10). We are engaged in this same work when we send missionaries to distant places to tell others about Jesus Christ. The other way these verses view the increasing praise of God is temporal, that is, from generation to generation (v. 13). We do this work when we pass on our faith to our children.
Why is a corporate testimony important?
How is God exalted in increasing ways?
Application: What are some specific things you can do in terms of your own corporate testimony of praise?