Psalms On Saturday ~ Psalm 48

Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised (Psalm 48:1, ESV).

There isn’t a better phrase to say every day of our lives than, “Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised!”

Take a moment and memorize this verse — it’s easy! Now commit to repeating it every morning.

Ultimately the Bible is about victory personally, culturally, and eternally. The world constantly tries to defeat us. With darkness seemingly winning, there is a lot of discouragement now. Psalm 48 is a Psalm of Israel’s victory in the midst of certain defeat.

As your name, O God, so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth. Your right hand is filled with righteousness (v. 10, ESV).

The Assyrians (think brutal and ferocious) had surrounded Jerusalem.  

If you lived in Jerusalem at that time, you’d know that the Assyrians had a habit of brutalizing conquered cities. They would often parade the leading citizens of a defeated city naked and with fishhooks through their noses through their capital city of Nineveh.

When we are surrounded by our enemies, when we are in nightmares, what should we do? Please remember Psalm 48:1 . . . 

Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised.

God can defeat our enemies instantly, which He did with the Assyrians. In spite of the Assyrian army’s size and success, Sennacherib, their leader, made one big mistake – he mocked God. 

God himself is in Jerusalem’s towers, revealing himself as its defender (v. 3, NLT).

Godly King Hezekiah, along with the prophet Isaiah, sought the Lord. Under their guidance, they encouraged all the occupants of Jerusalem to seek the Presence of God.

What happened?

Psalm 48 sums up God’s response to the prayers of the Israelites . . . 

You destroyed them like the mighty ships of Tarshish shattered by a powerful east wind (v. 7, NLT).

You can read the entire story in 2 Kings 18-19, but the specifics of what God did  . . . 

Then it happened that night that the angel of the Lord went out and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men rose early in the morning, behold, all of them were dead (2 Kings 19:35, NASB1995).

Now we understand why the occupants of Jerusalem were singing . . . 

Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised (v. 1, ESV).

And they also sang . . . 

As your name deserves, O God, you will be praised to the ends of the earth. Your strong right hand is filled with victory (v. 10, NLT).

Let’s consider our difficulties. The God of the Israelites is now our God. I love the victory message of Romans 8 . . .  

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (v. 31, ESV)

Those who love God know that praise is our greatest weapon. When we gratefully turn to God in moments of trial, not succumbing to the temptation of compromise, our victory is assured.

As Psalm 48 concludes . . . 

For that is what God is like. He is our God forever and ever, and he will guide us until we die (v. 14, NLT).

The next time we are tempted to despair, let’s shout . . . 

Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised (v. 1, ESV).

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