Verse 14. "For this God " - Who did all these wonderful things:- Is our God - He is our portion, and he has taken us for his people.
"He will be our guide " - Through all the snares and difficulties of life: - Even unto death - He will never leave us; and we, by his grace, will never abandon him. He is just such a God as we need; infinite in mercy, goodness, and truth. He is our Father, and we are the sons and daughters of God Almighty. Even unto and in death, he will be our portion.
ANALYSIS OF THE FORTY-EIGHTH PSALM
Under the type of Jerusalem is set down the happiness of the Church, which is always protected by the Divine favour. There are three parts in this Psalm: - I. The excellences and privileges of the city of God, ver. 1-3.
II. A narration of a miraculous deliverance she obtained, and the terror that fell upon her enemies, ver. 4-8.
III. An exhortation to consider it, and to praise God, ver. 9-14.
I. The psalmist begins with a maxim: "Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised." Great in himself; and greatly to be praised for all things, in all places; but especially in the city of our God, in the mountain of holiness.
Then he descends to set forth the excellences and ornaments of the Church.
1. It is "the city of God," built and governed by him, and in it he resides.
2. "It is a holy mountain:" The religion in it is holy; the people, a holy people.
3. "It is beautiful for situation:" God has put his beauty upon it.
4. "The joy of the whole earth is Mount Zion:" The joy and ornament of all the land of Judea then, and afterwards of the whole world, because the law was to come out of Zion.
5. "It is the city of the great King," i.e., God. He founded, and rules in it.
6. "God is known in her palaces:" In her is the knowledge of God; yea, and by an experimental knowledge, he is found to be an asylum, a sure refuge.
II. And it is well that it is so; for Jerusalem, i.e., the Church, has many and great enemies, which ( ver. 5) the prophet begins to describe; and desires that notice may be taken of them, for he points them out with "Lo! or Behold!" 1. They are many and powerful. They were "kings," a plurality of them.
2. Confederate kings: "The kings were assembled." United power is the more effectual.
But all the endeavours of those kings, those confederate kings, came to nothing.
1. "They passed by together:" together they came, together they vanished.
2. "They saw-they marvelled:" They saw the strength of this city, and wondered how it could be so strangely delivered out of their hands.
3. On this they were troubled, they trembled, and hasted away. Fear took hold upon them; which the prophet illustrates by a double similitude:
1. By a travailing woman; "Fear took hold upon them, and pain, as of a woman in travail." 2. By the fear of mariners at sea, when euroclydon threatens to destroy their ship; their amazement was such "as when thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind." III. In this third part of the Psalm there are two especial points: - A grateful acknowledgment of God's protection of his Church: "As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of our God." We have heard that he will protect this city, and we see that he hath done it; and persuaded we are that he will always do it: "God will establish it for ever." 2. And this shall never be forgotten by us: "We have thought of thy loving-kindness in the midst of thy temple." 3. And so thought of it as to praise thee for it: "According to thy name so is thy praise; thy right hand is full of righteousness." All the earth shall know that thou dost help with thy powerful hand thy afflicted and oppressed people. Thou wilt punish their adversaries, "for thy right hand is full of righteousness-and justice." The second point of this third part is an exhortation to God's people.
1. That they exult and rejoice for what God does for them: "Let Mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments," in defending thy Church, and punishing their enemies.
2. That they take especial notice of his miraculous deliverance of Jerusalem; that, notwithstanding the army was great that lay against it, yet no harm was done: "Walk about Zion, tell the towers thereof; mark well her bulwarks, and her palaces." See whether they be not all standing and entire.
3. And do it for this end: "That you may tell it to the generation following." Leave it on record how miraculously God hath delivered you.
4. For this there are two strong reasons:
1. "For this God," who protects and defends us, "is our God for ever." 2. "He will be our guide unto death." He will not leave us when all the world leaves us.
In the time in which we need him most, we shall find him most powerfully present to help us. Therefore, exult, rejoice, mark it; and make it known to the generations to come.