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JERUSALEM, JERUSALEM! (PS. 48)

JERUSALEM, JERUSALEM!

SHE IS BEAUTIFUL IN ELEVATION!

JERUSALEMSUNSET

ON MANY OF THE HOLY LAND TOURS,

WHEN THE TOUR BUS APPROACHES JERUSALEM,

THIS SONG IS PLAYED, FILLING HEARTS WITH ANTICIPATION AND AWE.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=42cKKPPmDT8

BUT THIS SONG, AND PSALM 48 ITSELF, SEEM TO SPEAK OF A DIFFERENT JERUSALEM THAN THE ONE WE KNOW. 

INSTEAD OF WAR TORN,

SHE IS THE “JOY OF THE WHOLE EARTH.”

INSTEAD OF BEING SITUATED IN THE SOUTH,

SHE IS IN “THE FAR NORTH.”

INSTEAD OF RESISTING JESUS, CAUSING HIM SORROW,

o-jerusalem-greg-olsen
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! (Matthew 23:37)

 

SHE IS REJOICING IN HER GOD.

WHAT’S GOING ON? WHO IS THIS JERUSALEM?

A HINT.

SHE IS A CITY, AND YET, SHE IS A BRIDE.

SUCH A MIXED METAPHOR, AND YET EXACTLY THE ONE WE SAW IN

THE SONG OF SONGS.

REMEMBER?

SOMETIMES WHEN HE DESCRIBES HER WE SEE A WOMAN’S BEAUTIFUL BODY — BUT BLINK, AND WE SEE THE LAND OF ISRAEL.

CONSIDER:

Your neck is like the tower of David

We imagine a woman with a model-like neck:

neckimage.axd

but blink and we see Jerusalem’s famous tower:

DavidTower8
JERUSALEM’S TOWER OF DAVID

THIS MIXED METAPHOR IS ALSO THE VISION GOD GAVE JOHN IN REVELATION:

Rev.-21-2-and-I-saw-the-holy-city-new-jerusalem-coming-down-out-of-heaven-from-God

THIS IS THE NEW JERUSALEM,

AS AUGUSTINE PUT IT,

THE CITY OF GOD

IN CONTRAST

TO THE CITY OF MAN.

THIS IS THE BRIDE OF CHRIST,

PEOPLES MADE UP OF EVERY TRIBE AND NATION.

THIS IS YOU, MY BLOG SISTERS, WHO LOVE HIM!

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL IN ELEVATION,

THE JOY OF THE WHOLE EARTH.

THIS IS US AS WE WILL BE,

WHEN WE ARE TOTALLY TRANSFORMED,

AND LIVE TOGETHER IN

“THE CITY OF OUR GOD WHICH GOD WILL ESTABLISH FOREVER.”

(PSALM 48:8)

 Next week, we will finish these Songs of Korah that have gone from Psalm 42 through 49, and also consider how they inspired Saint Augustine, often considered the most influential Christian in history. I have some rich resources for you. I think it will be a wonderful closure to this section and the summer.

On this Monday I covet your prayers for a beautiful evening as four new adult Christians will be baptized at the lake outside my house — I’ve written about Lyle, Debbie, and Ron — and also there will be Billy, a young man who mows my lawn. So exciting! Right now it is cold, windy, and whitecaps are rolling in. I just took this picture so you could see and pray that Jesus would calm the waves and bring the sun out!

watersofbaptism Pray also for these new Christians, that God would quicken them as they share and us as we listen. Thank you!

P. S. My dear friend Ann is a silent blogger and wrote this after reading this week’s blog — I thought you might all like to see what she wrote:

I loved your post this week — and you know how Howie (her husband) and I have had a love affair with Jerusalem.

Entering Jerusalem is amazing, especially when you first see it.  They usually take you in on the regular highway, then up the Mount of Olives for that famous view.  You don’t need any music.  It is pure drama.

The first time our bus of 30 people just stared in awe.  No music played or needed.  On our second trip the bus driver put on the song you had about Jerusalem.  I have to admit that, though the song is lovely, it felt pretty cheesy to heighten the drama with the song.  It was meant to enrich the experience.  But for some reason, I felt it took away from the experience for me.

Sunday:

1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

Monday-Thursday Bible Study

2. Read all of Psalm 48, with the understanding that this is the New Jerusalem, the bride of Christ, the city of our God — and share anything that quickens you.This is a good time to introduce questions as well, questions that I hope you will be able to answer yourself as you continue to study.

3. Read Psalm 48:1-3

A. What descriptions do you find, and how does this seem to point to a different Jerusalem than the one that either existed In Jesus day or in our day?

B. Look at a Bible map and find Jerusalem. Is it in the far north of Israel, as Psalm 48:2 says? Now, compare this with Isaiah 14:13. Derek Kidner writes: “the far north” in Scripture is associated with God’s royal seat.

“It is equivalent to heaven.” What insight does this give you into the “new Jerusalem?”

PROPHETICgog-part-10a-72-728

C. Read Psalm 48:3-8. What is happening?

D. This is much more sweeping, Kidner says, than any attack on Jerusalem in the Old Testament. This is what was prophesied by Ezekiel 27:26. Find it and share what you see.

E. This is symbolic of the world’s end. Compare this to Revelation 18:16-17 What do you see?

4. But though the end of this world as we know it will be hard, that is not the end. Read Psalm 48:9-14 and describe how God is going to replace the “City of Man,” as Augustine put it, with the “City of God.”

5. What perspective and hope does this give you?

Friday: WATCH THIS ON AUGUSTINE’S “CITY OF MAN” — NEXT WEEK, AS PART OF THIS PSALM STUDY, WE WILL CONSIDER AUGUSTINE’S “CITY OF GOD,” WHICH IS THE NEW JERUSALEM! PRAY FOR ME, I WANT TO FINISH WELL.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILjAl9PMSWs

6. Comments?

Saturday

7. What is your take-a-way and why?

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151 comments

  1. Hello, everybody! So glad to be back and look forward to time in the Word and the sweet fellowship of this blog.
    What stands out to you?
    1. The song- I remember singing it as a child in the choir. It was beautiful then and even more so now as I “see the Day approaching.”
    No need of moon or sun…
    Jerusalem, Lift up your gates and sing
    Hosanna to the highest, Hosanna to your King
    Sing for the night is o’er…
    2. “beautiful in elevation” only Jesus has made this possible. I desire this beauty
    3. Lyle, Debbie, Ron and Billy – tears of joy! May their baptismal experience be graced with good weather and warm fellowship

  2. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
     
    How absolutely wonderful it must be to say that four new adult Christians are going to be baptized in the lake behind your home!!    I have never been able to say something like that, but how much I would like to do so.   I definitely  will pray for good baptizing weather and water!    I tend to believe, however, that if God helped you bring these people this far,  He will see that the conditions are right for baptism as well.  How pleased He must be!   

  3. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
    oh, I haven’t even read past question one yet, but of what a joy-infused post!! I am filled with hope, and humbled by His mercy. I will no longer resist Him! I will no longer cause Him any sorrow, oh how I long for that! I so often feel just dirty and ragged, so aware of my failings and weaknesses, but this promise is real, despite my feelings, He is making me to be: “THE “JOY OF THE WHOLE EARTH.”…TOTALLY TRANSFORMED.” amazing!
     
    And what JOY to hear of Lyle, Debbie, Ron and Billy being baptized (and what a fitting celebration on your birthday!)–these newly transformed lives, modeling before us how He is making all things new…breaking and remaking, restoring our souls to love Him more…all for the awaited day when we will together as His Bride,” LIVE TOGETHER IN “THE CITY OF OUR GOD WHICH GOD WILL ESTABLISH FOREVER.””

  4. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?  (I know it is kinda goofy to jump in at the end of a study…but I’m back in a semi-normal schedule again now.  Was lurking last week 😉 ).    The song… The Holy City.  It’s been a long time since I’ve heard it; I listened before I went to church and it’s been running through my mind all morning.  This set the tone when I came back and re-read the intro:  the mixed metaphor of the bride and the city stood out.  This is SO exciting, so hopeful.  I’ve been thinking about the City of God lately and how that relates to cities today (when I tend to like hiding in rural, isolated areas!).Praying for you, Dee, for the baptism and for finishing well.  Thanks for the encouraging study.  

  5. 2. Read all of Psalm 48, with the understanding that this is the New Jerusalem, the bride of Christ, the city of our God — and share anything that quickens you.
     
    What quickens me is the all encompassing impact — the extent of the joy and power of Love.  I see the glory of God bursting out of the words in this Psalm.  It’s hard to describe.  The following words/phrases: “joy of all the earth,” “great King,” “fortress,” “kings took flight,” “God will establish forever,” “steadfast love,” “praises reach to the end of the earth,” right hand filled with righteousness.”  Together, these words create a powerful, joyful image.  The New Jerusalem is a reflection of her King.

    1. YEA RENEE!! have so missed you! and love your thoughts here–how you have focused us on the extent of the His power and love! Your words are so joy-filled, encouraging to me 🙂

  6. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
     
    The song…I have never heard it before. It is lovely!
     
    To be honest, I am not really feeling like the beautiful bride today; kind of down. I’ll check back in tomorrow and hope for the best.
     
    Will pray for the baptism Dee. I’m sure it will special no matter the weather?.

    1. Laura, praying for you right now, I understand those kind of days..glad you let us know so we can pray for Him to lift you up

  7. The rest of my family left earlier this afternoon after a whirlwind summer of constant events and busyness. It has been a summer of joys and sorrows; not one that will be soon forgotten. My head is still spinning but I hope to be able to contemplate Psalm 48 with you this week.
     
    It is such a comforting and sobering picture that God will one day see Jerusalem (us) dressed as  a bride in splendor and purity, though now he mourns over us in our dark sinfulness. For those of us who follow Him already, we are a work in process; new yet not complete; dark but lovely. So often I see the dark in me and have difficulty seeing the lovely in myself. Yet, Jesus tells us that He sees us as beautiful and wants us to look at ourselves as beautiful as well in His sight. Satan seeks to destroy; God to heal and recreate. All this amazes, surprises and awes me; yet comforts me so and gives me hope.
     
    “Arise, my love, my lovely one, come. The winter is past and the rains are gone. The flowers appear; it’s the season of song. My lovely one, come with me.” from Michael Card on the Song of Songs. 

    1. Diane, so good to have you back here, and thankful for this wise truth, that even here and now, when we tend to only see our darkness: “Yet, Jesus tells us that He sees us as beautiful and wants us to look at ourselves as beautiful” –such grace!

    2. Love your post, Diane. Yes, you had a lot to take-in this summer. You so poignantly state that now, God “mourns over us in our dark sinfulness”. And even as a believer, that is what would turn my heart from sin; that He mourns over my sin.

    1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR DEE!!!! SO HAPPY YOU GET TO CELEBRATE WITH BAPTISMS TONIGHT-WHAT A SWEET KISS!! :))

  8. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why? The picture of Jesus weeping over Jerusalem.  To know that the Savior wants so much to gather us under his wing, to love and protect us, yet we are resistant. We run around, wanting our own way, trying to do things for ourselves. He won’t force us, but He is always there willing to take us back.

    1. The picture stood out to me too, Dawn. When I look at the city of Jerusalem pictured with its walls surrounding it, it’s like a metaphor of how so many of its people had walled-off their hearts to Jesus. Jesus is on the outside, and it is closed. Oh, that a few would come out from the city and go up to Him on the hill….that would make His heart leap!

  9. 1. What stood out – “this is you, my blog sisters, who love Him!  You are beautiful in elevation “. We are beautiful when we are elevating Jesus, loving Him totally and unreservedly.  When we lift Him up, He also lifts up our heads and makes us beautiful, adorned as a bride for her Bridegroom.  It is a really beautiful, encouraging  picture, that excites me.  Thank you for it, Dee.  Praying that whatever the weather, it will only add to His praise and not take away from it.
     
    2. Ps 48:3…He has shown Himself to be her fortress…I have been experiencing that this week as I come to Him in weakness and He satisfies me with Himself so I don’t overeat.
    v12-13  in keeping with v9, within Your temple we meditate on Your unfailing love…walk about Zion, count her ramparts, view her citadels, tell of them to the next generation…  As we meditate, muse, and review all God has done in our lives, we are to tell the next generation our stories, all the ways God has protected, shielded, provided for and been our rampart and citadel.  It it like a dot to dot drawing.  Our stories connect up with those in the Bible and those of other believers to give the next generation a more accurate and convincing picture of the One True God.

  10. Question (1!):  From the intro:  “INSTEAD OF BEING SITUATED IN THE SOUTH, SHE IS IN ‘THE FAR NORTH.'”   What is the “far north?”  North Dakota? 😉   North Pole?  North of Jerusalem? “up” (as in coming down out of heaven)
     

  11. What stands out, the joy of baptism, the newness of Christ,and as always Dee’s incredible use of art and music. Happy Birthday, Dee, what an awesome way to enjoy it. Standing with you in prayer. 

  12. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
    I am absolutely thrilled for tonight, for how God is moving in Door County through The Orchard! Would love to be there but I will be with you in prayer!
     
    I love that we will be the joy of the whole Earth instead of causing Jesus sorrow by resisting Him. We will be TOTALLY transformed. I can’t imagine not having a thought toward an idol-no desire to cling to this world..but ALL my affections are on Him. I hate how I can so easily resist Him and grieve Him. How it grieves him when we cling to idols-even for a minute. So if I trust and cling to Him here-it is Him in me..not me!! What Grace-what MERCY. He is the beauty in my broken..I long for the new Jerusalem when He removes baal from my lips completely.  

    1. Rebecca, oh, yes!  You put my heart into words.

  13. 3A. One commentator said that ‘Zaphon’ was like saying Mt Olympus, the home of the gods, and that the verse is showing that God is above all other Gods, and King over all kings.
    we don’t now see Jerusalem asthe ‘joy of the whole earth’, nor has it been in history, but as the presence of God in the New Jerusalem, it will be.
    B.  Some notes said that “sides of the north”, it was referring to the position of the temple compared to the rest of Jerusalem.  But I like Derek Kidner’s saying it is God’s royal seat.  We sure see in other references that God’s judgement will come from the north.  The new Jerusalem seems to be synonymous with heaven.  God reigns from there and He is its wall of fire, and Christ is its light within.
     
    E. Rev 18:16-17 Interesting that here the attacker is portrayed as another woman/city; one who is arrogant and abusive, trusting in wealth.  The verses are very like Ezekiel.  While she rules for a very long time and oppresses the saints, her destruction comes in an hour.  There is such a parallel-or comparison- between God and evil, evil always trying to counterfeit the real things of God. Here it is the city/woman and how she seeks to draw people to herself.

  14. 2. Read all of Psalm 48, with the understanding that this is the New Jerusalem, the bride of Christ, the city of our God — and share anything that quickens you.This is a good time to introduce questions as well, questions that I hope you will be able to answer yourself as you continue to study.
     
    What is strange is this morning I was quickened by verses 4-8: As soon as the Kings of the nations see the City of our God-The Bride of Christ-they will panic and flee.They will anguish as a woman having labor so they will be in severe mental and physical pain-suffering. I am humbled for I am no better than they..yet He made me His Bride to partake with Him- the New Jerusalem.  

  15. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU DEAR DEE! I can only imagine the joy that will be yours when you witness those baptisms later today….what a birthday gift! Praying for the weather to cooperate!

  16. Happy birthday, Dee! What a blessing you are and am thankful for your gift of writing. I agree with everyone-today is a VERY special day; not only for it is your birthday but the spiritual births of this 4. They will not be easily forgotten by you!
    I will see if this would take!

  17. 2. I am struck by the assurance of God’s protection over us, His guarantee of our safety. And even more, by the promise of knowing Him fully. 
    vs. 3 “Within her citadels God has made himself known as a fortress”   something in the phrase “God has made Himself known..” it is HE who reveals Himself to us, He chooses to allow us to fully know Him, and to know Him as a refuge, as our Redeemer, our Savior. It is His nature of love to come into us, shining light into our darkest places–“within”–and reveal Himself to us. 
     
    Just this morning I read this from Jonathan Edwards (said to have meditated on Heaven an hour a day!) and it encouraged me to meditate more on Heaven, and how it changes and shapes my daily thoughts:
     
    Every saint is as a flower in the garden of God, and holy love is the fragrancy and sweet odor which they all send forth, and with which they fill that paradise. Every saint there is as a note in a concert of music which sweetly harmonizes with every other note, and all together employed wholly in praising God and the Lamb; and so all helping one another to their utmost to express their love of the whole society to the glorious Father and Head of it, and to pour backlove into the fountain of love, whence they are supplied and filled with love and with glory. And thus they will live and thus they will reign in love, and in that godlike joy which is the blessed fruit of it, such as eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath ever entered into the heart of any in this world to conceive. And thus they will live and reign forever and ever. 

    1. Lizzy – I so LOVE your love for the Puritans and the the gourmet fare from them that you so often bring to our table here!!  And yes, I think that a LOT of the depth of teaching that has flowed from some of those (I realize that Edwards was just a little after the Puritans, technically but he certainly was carrying on the torch!) has come from their beholding of Christ…..and the knowledge and pondering on heaven as our true home!  It’s amazing and “upside down” in a way that being heavenly minded really does lead to a deeper fire for earthly service to the King!  

      1. and Jackie–I love your passion for those truths as well! I have MISSED you here, hope you can join in more this week–I just gain so much from your wisdom

    2. Lizzy may I copy and past that into my answer , LOL so wonderful. 

  18. Hi Everyone! It’s been a long time but I’m back and very excited about the study this week. 
    Sunday: I kept thinking Jerusalem in earthly history is a miracle of God. Jerusalem has be burned to the ground again and again just to spring up again and again. The writers of the bible declare stand in awe of her. To think that this great city is a image of us is mind blowing. And in the last days the world will stand in awe of the new restored life (the promise of our salvation) the new Jerusalem in us. It’s moving and heart breaking, humbling and very powerful. Like Jerusalem life will burn us down but Jesus will stay faithful. He takes great care of us and like the great miracle the actual city is we are that same great miracle. Jerusalem stands as a testimony of his faithfulness to us. Praise His Holy Name!!!

      1. Happy Belated Birthday, I hope you had a wonderful day! And thank you for your comment.

    1. Nicole–love your heart and passion too! “the new Jerusalem in us. It’s moving and heart breaking, humbling and very powerful.” amen!

      1. Thank you

    2. Nicole-I love your wonder and awe..I just read in a commentary that the response of the Kings when they saw the City was to flee-they were in great distress immediately..well the opposite of that heart response will be ours (like yours in your post)-we will respond in praise-rejoicing like we’ve never known-we can taste it here but oh on that day! :)) Verse 9 popped out to me this morning. “We have thought on your steadfast love, O God, in the midst of your temple.” 

      1. Rebecca-When I read your response I was thinking about how in the last moments Jesus is going to come down riding on the clouds and the sword of His mouth will destroy all those who opposed Him during the tribulation. I thought of the 10 kings that will be ruling the earth and like you said “when they saw the City was to flee-they were in great distress immediately” Their will be people rejoicing and cry but their will be those who chose differently and may have been exalted here on earth living for their own pleasures but in that day they will flee. There are two sides and people don’t like talking about it but its true. I chose Jesus whatever the cost. God bless you today!
        The day of the Lord will bring a reckoning; Zephaniah 2:1-3;

  19. Happy birthday Dee! I hope you have a peachy day today! How’s the weather? 
     
    2. Read all of Psalm 48. 
     
    I find it it interesting that it mentions God’s right hand (it’s always the right hand when mentioned in scripture).
     
     
    “the right hand of the Lord exalts, the right hand of the Lord does valiantly!””
    ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭118:16‬ ‭ESV‬‬
     
     
    “Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power, your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy.”
    ‭‭Exodus‬ ‭15:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬
     
     
    “And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven”
    ‭‭Revelation‬ ‭10:5‬ ‭ESV‬‬
     
    And my personal favorite:
     
    “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
    ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬
     
     
    I also find it interesting that it says for the people to “walk around” the city telling everyone (“the next generation”) how great our God is. Wouldn’t they already know this because they live in Zion? This reminds me of Joshua and Jericho (is that right?) where they walked around the city seven times and the “walls came a tumbling down?”
     
    I love how they want to shout to the world about his great God is!

  20. 1.  What stood out to you from the above and why?
     
    Well….Jerusalem.  Ever since I can remember – even before becoming a believer! – I longed to see Jerusalem.  Three and a half years ago someone very dear to me was buried there…and a year later his father was buried beside him.  There has been such a hook in my heart for this city and I know it was Jesus Himself who placed that tender yearning there.  🙂  I’ve spent several hours late yesterday and this morning reading in the Scriptures of Jerusalem.  I don’t want to at all be controversial with delving into terms such as “premillenial, post millenial or amillenial”, but I couldn’t seem to get away from the book of Zechariah – particularly chapters 2, 8 and 12, which speak much of God’s heart for Jerusalem!  As you have said so well Dee, “Jerusalem” in the Word seems to mean or allude to many different things…..but all bound up in the heart of God for His people!  
     
    In Zechariah, the NLT (not normally my go to translation!  🙂  ) says so much so beautifully:  “Shout and rejoice, O beautiful Jerusalem, for I am coming to live among you.” (2:10), “Then I, myself, will be a protective wall of fire around Jersusalem, says the Lord.  And I will be the glory inside the city!” (2:5), “Many nations will join themselves to the Lord on that day, and they too, will be my people.  I will live among you, and you will know that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies sent me to you.” (2:11), “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says, My love for Mount Zion is passionate and strong; I am consumed with passion for Jerusalem!” (8:2), “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says; People from nations and cities around the world will travel to Jerusalem.  The people of one city will say to the people of another, ‘Come with us to Jerusalem to ask the Lord to bless us.  Let’s worship the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.  I’m determined to go.  Many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord of Heaven’s Armies and to ask for his blessing.”  (8:20&21)….and so much more!!  The book of Zechariah is quoted MUCH by the NT writers – particularly in the Gospels relating to Jesus as Messiah!!  🙂  All because of HIM there will be this amazing gathering from every tongue, tribe and nation…those whom God loves with such a great passion for eternity!!  
     
    Dee, many prayers today that this birthday will be for you a milestone of great significance.  I am overjoyed that the baptism of some so very dear to you will “celebrate” this day!  How incredible that on “your” special day, it is God’s glory that will shine over the water behind your home as these precious souls publicly proclaim their love and devotion to Christ!  Amen!!  
     
     

    1. What great ponderings and verses on Jerusalem in the book of Zechariah, Jackie! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Dee, I had to chuckle as I remember seeing people baptized in a horse water trough at the racetrack!  🙂  One of whom was a paralyzed young woman ……reminded me that God can shine so bright ANYWHERE!!!!  A spectacular lake (I still pray and wish that one for you all!), a jacuzzi, a horse water trough…..!!  He is going to be so beautiful tonight in your midst!!  

  21. 2.  Read all of Psalm 48, with the understanding that this is the New Jerusalem, the bride of Christ, the city of our God – and share anything that quickens you.  This is a good time to introduce questions as well, questions that I hope you will be able to answer yourself as you continue to study.  
     
    I was particularly moved by the the fact that “the city of our God” in v. 1 is also called “the city of the great King” in that same verse.  Hmm.  Jesus used this precise same phrase in Matthew 5:34&35 where He is speaking of oaths.  “But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.”  Somehow this phrase takes it to a new level of intimacy for me.  That the great King Jesus is passionate in His zeal and love and devotion to His city, His people, Jerusalem.  
     
    v.9 is speaking to my soul deeply as well…..”We have thought on your steadfast love, O God, in the midst of your temple.”  Oh how I love that …..to think on his steadfast love, His mercy….how he fortifies my soul in these ponderings.  🙂  

    1. Jackie-I normally don’t have a lot of time to read comments-wish i did! Anyway, I love this: I was particularly moved by the the fact that “the city of our God” in v. 1 is also called “the city of the great King” in that same verse.  Hmm.  Jesus used this precise same phrase in Matthew 5:34&35 where He is speaking of oaths.  “But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.”  Somehow this phrase takes it to a new level of intimacy for me.  That the great King Jesus is passionate in His zeal and love and devotion to His city, His people, Jerusalem.  

  22. Praying for the baptism: the most beautiful memories I have. May God bless you, Dee, and each of those baptized.
    Love each of the posts, but I identified with the picture of Jesus looking sad over the city.
    The present times are making me feel that way and I long for the promises to be fulfilled.
    As I read Psalm 48, what stands out to me is verse 9, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love as we worship in your Temple.
    Looking forward to Christ’s glorious kingdom!

  23. 2. Read all of Psalm 48, with the understanding that this is the New Jerusalem, the bride of Christ, the city of our God — and share anything that quickens you.This is a good time to introduce questions as well, questions that I hope you will be able to answer yourself as you continue to study.
     
    Here are some questions I have about the Psalm, mostly about verses 4-8. What is the significance of the east wind? Why ships of Tarshish? Where is Tarshish? Is this the same Tarshish that Jonah tried to flee to? Who is the “we” in vs 8? Are the Gentile kings calling Zion the city of our God?
     

  24. Happy birthday, Dee. I hope you have a blessed day and that the wind dies down enough for a safe baptism in the bay. From your comments I assume you will use your jacuzzi if the water is too rough, but as you say, that isn’t nearly as picturesque. I am praying that the baptisms will be a touching testimony to your sister Bonnie as well as any other seekers who witness them.

  25. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why? Reminds me of my trip there a few years ago, to me the city mostly felt very dark. I kept wondering how these citizens could be in such a holy place, walk where He walked, but not believe Jesus is Lord? Despite its darkness, and unfamiliar noises (like the Muslim call to prayer blasting over the city and the Jews praying out loud at the wall) I could see glimpses of beauty and enjoyed imagining Jesus walking in the very streets I was walking.

  26. Dee,  I hope you had a marvelous birthday,   and I can’t wait to hear how the baptism went!   I’m thinking it was in the lake!   
     

  27. 4. About God replacing the city of men with the city of God: on earth, men praise the things of earth, but in that day they will praise the accomplished feats of God.
    verse 11- God’s judgements won’t be something to fear, but rather something to rejoice over.
    verse 12-13- the Life Application Bible says of these verses: “after unsuccessfully besieging Jerusalem, it was common for the people to make a tour of the city, inspecting its defenses and praising God for the protection it had offered”.  Seems to me that after God brings us through some trial. We should inspect our defenses as well, to make sure that the foundations- God and His Word- remain strong and we haven’t slipped away from Him.  And then praise God for His protection!

  28.  
    1.   As your name, O God, so your praises reaches to the ends of the earth.
    Almost a month ago, while I was actually sitting very still for a moment, God healed me. I saw it in vibrant neon colors as I felt it. God moved very precisely.  I received a miracle, as well as several astonishing blessings the week before and during this time after. It was and remains a very astonishing and vivid experience.  
    The next day I had an opportunity to share it with many from my church, The joy on their faces and in their voices, it brought encouragement to them. Especially someone who didn’t think their prayers were answered, answered prayers happened to others but not them.  Previously that week God had used them as an answer to one of my prayers. I was able to share that with them as I shared about the healing God gave me. They were blown away by that as much as they were about my healing. 
    On my way into the building that day, the enemy told me to keep my mouth shut, that I would be back in bad shape by Sunday, and I shouldn’t embarrass myself by speaking up. Normally I don’t share, especially after a lifetime of mostly bad news. I had to praise God, even if the whole church thought I was nuts. Seeing the effect it had on those around me, and hearing them pray and praise God, seeing them being encouraged was almost as life changing as being healed. I also learned that in praising God, He deeply strengthened me. So in good or bad no matter the consequence Praise Him to the ends of the earth and back again. 

    1. Wow! That is an awesome witness, Dawn. How exciting for you and your church members.

  29. Dee-Tell us how the Baptism went last night!! What did Bonnie and her husband think?

  30. 3. Read Psalm 48:1-3
    A. What descriptions do you find, and how does this seem to point to a different Jerusalem than the one that either existed In Jesus day or in our day?
    -His presence is there-His beautiful Holiness all around. His Holy mountain is the joy of all the Earth. I am thinking it is all Him.
    -Mount Zion in the far north-as Dee pointed out in her post. And below Dee tells us it is associated with God’s royal seat.
    -Within her citadels God has made himself known-He is her fortress. Again His presence is all around and in the City. This is a Holy place filled with His Glory. 
    The Jerusalem that existed in Jesus day and in our day was run by men-satan has a strong hold.
     
    B. Look at a Bible map and find Jerusalem. Is it in the far north of Israel, as Psalm 48:2 says? Now, compare this with Isaiah 14:13. Derek Kidner writes: “the far north” in Scripture is associated with God’s royal seat.
    wow..is this a mind twister and oh to rejoice in! I haven’t made this connection before..Correct me if I am mistaken but I think Isaiah 14:13 is referring to satan desiring to be God-sitting on the throne in the far north. satan is causing havoc now and in Jesus day in his quest to be like God..but God will throw him in pit once and for all. His glory will fill the City-He will be our fortress. No more satan. No more Baal. 

    1. Rebecca- I think your right on in what your saying. I got pretty much the same thing or at least something similar.

      1. Nicole-did you have to look it up? I did. 🙂 When I read it at first I thought, wait this is talking about satan I think..so to be sure I looked it up and it was. Glad God has provided that for us! 🙂  I haven’t studied or really dug into these passages on the New Jerusalem before so I am a newbie to this..so glad He is illuminating it for me here. I am so encouraged.

  31. 3. Read Psalm 48:1-3 
    A. What descriptions do you find, and how does this seem to point to a different Jerusalem than the one that either existed In Jesus day or in our day? 
     
    I have never ever been to Jerusalem and to be quite honest, I’m not sure I will ever go now that things are the way they are in the Middle East. Not too excited. I guess I have no idea what it is like today so I am not sure I can answer the question well.
     
    The city is described as that of “our God.” It is highly elevated, joyful, and in the north. It is described as a strong fortress (citadels) of which is specifically God’s strength.
     
    B. Look at a Bible map and find Jerusalem. Is it in the far north of Israel, as Psalm 48:2 says? Now, compare this with Isaiah 14:13. Derek Kidner writes: “the far north” in Scripture is associated with God’s royal seat.
     
    Looking at a map during Jesus’ time, Jerusalem is in the middle of the country; not north or south. Is this the time period you wanted, Dee? 
     
    During David and Solomons time, Jerusalem was in the center of the country; not north or south.
     
    During the time of the “divided kingdom” it is in the north of Judah.
     
    Present day it is still in the center of the country; not north or south.
     
    I would agree with Kidner on this one. The only way I could justify the literal meaning of “…in the north” would be during the divided country time period where Jerusalem was part of Judah, not Israel.

    1. SO thankful to hear this Dee! What a praise!

    2. Yay! Praise the Lord ?

    3. Dee – I so loved the photos that you posted of the baptism on our prayer page on FB!!  🙂  It especially melted my heart to see four adults clearly WELL into middle age (!) who have experienced Ezekiel 36:26…..”And I will give you a new heart and a new spirit I will put within you.  And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”  It takes a LOT of humility to get past a lifetime of pride and come to the feet of Jesus!  And that three of  the four baptized were MEN??  Wow, just wow.  To God be the glory…..seems He is turning things upside down in your little village by the water!!  

  32.  
    3. Read Psalm 48:1-3
     
    A. What descriptions do you find, and how does this seem to point to a different Jerusalem than the one that either existed In Jesus day or in our day?
     
     I think that the Jerusalem being described is a victorious Jerusalem. One that sounds perfected. “God is known is her palaces for a refuge” I believe that many people in Jerusalem today know God but not to the extent described here. “the city of the great King” is of course Jesus and He is not the King of the current Jerusalem but He will be not by any effort of man but by His hand alone. When Jesus reins then Jerusalem will be the joy of the whole earth.
     
     B. Look at a Bible map and find Jerusalem. Is it in the far north of Israel, as Psalm 48:2 says? Now, compare this with Isaiah 14:13. Derek Kidner writes: “the far north” in Scripture is associated with God’s royal seat.
     
     So in Isaiah 14 satan is being described and satan warred in heaven and tried to exalt himself above God was defeated and was thrown to the earth. That is the same description here. But in reference to the question “north’ is what is common which means and after reading the verses 12-17 of Isaiah 14, that word ‘north’ is definitely describing ‘heaven’ because that’s were Gods thrown is and that’s where satan wanted to rule.
     
    “It is equivalent to heaven.” What insight does this give you into the “new Jerusalem?”
     
    The new Jerusalem must be Gods throne coming down from heaven to reside on Earth. Pretty crazy!! :o()
     
     
     

    1. I don’t understand how you see satan in isaiah 14:13? 

      1. The first hint wast that in the picture above You see Gog in  parentheses and I remembered in revelation the “battle of Gog and Magog” then I read the whole chapter and I was pretty clear it wasn’t talkin about God or Jesus. I also rememberEd when Jesus said he saw Satan falling to the earth like a star which is the exact discription in the Chapter. 

      2. Laura – by now it shouldn’t surprise me at all that you ask such great, blunt questions – that many others may well be asking too!  🙂  I’m not sure that your question can easily be answered here on the blog either though!  As Dee has taught us here in our studies….Scripture often (especially in the Old Testament prophecies!) has more than one “layer” , so to speak.  Or maybe we could call it a near and a far teaching.  ?   Clearly Isaiah 14 is speaking first of all of the king of Babylon.  We know from other Scriptures (especially in Revelation) that Satan is the king of “spiritual Babylon”…..and many scholars do believe that this passage in Isaiah 14:12-15 is speaking of him as well.  Another (of many!) fascinating passage is found in Ezekiel 28:12-19……again, speaking of the King of Tyre….but very likely also speaking of Satan.  This is much like the messianic Psalms where David (or another author) speaks of his own experience in real time….but also prophesies about the experience of Jesus!  Soooooo mysterious and sometimes frustrating for “concrete thinkers” like scientific minded you, Laura!    An excellent resource on this is a John MacArthur teaching from many years ago…..I think you can just google “John MacArthur teaching on Satan”….but I will see if I can find the specific one I’m thinking of ……he begins in Job but comes to this Isaiah and Ezekiel passage and it is very enlightening!  🙂  Thanks again for asking questions that many of us think, but don’t ask!!  🙂  

        Here’s the resource: http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/1200/satan

        1. Jackie, thank you for being patient with me! I will check out the resource. It does get frustra not understanding the layers, and even though I read the bible in its entirety last year, I certainly didn’t read for a lot of detail! 
           
          When Nicole answered me she referred to “gog.” Well, I never even read further down on the blog to see that “gog” was in the scripture! So I completely missed that! Even if I had seen it I would never have put two and two together. I don’t ever remember anything about “gog” in reading the bible. I’m not very good at remembering details these days. 
           
          I worry though; am I completely missing the point of this week’s lesson? I am not seeing the siginificance of the city of Jerusalem. I suppose it’s a nice place? It’s going to be the new heaven (I guess?)? And then someone talks about satan in these scriptures where I don’t see it at all? I’m thinking it might be helpful to put some reference scriptures in this lesson for those of us who are, let’s say, not as mature with our understanding of details in the bible?
           
          Thank you, SO MUCH, Jackie, for entertaining me by explaining the connection. I went back to re-read (for the umpteenth time) to find satan in this passage it took reading 4 different versions of the bible to understand….The Message is what finally made me understand. I still am not sure that psalm 48 shows satan though.

        2. and here is what I see in you Laura…..a BURNING heart to sit at the feet of Jesus (in His Word) and soak in Him!!  You so remind me sometimes of Mary (Luke 10:38-42).  Your tenacity in the Scriptures moves me deeply and spurs me on!  I love how are grapple with hard things and dig deep and read as many Bible versions as it takes to “find Him”!  You bless my socks off!  🙂  

  33. 3. Read Psalm 48:1-3
    A. What descriptions do you find, and how does this seem to point to a different Jerusalem than the one that either existed In Jesus day or in our day?
    Descriptions: city of our God, holy mountain – beautiful in elevation, in far north, joy of all the earth, within citadels, God has made himself known as a fortress.
    Differences:  Jerusalem isn’t even in the far north of Israel, and in terms of location in the world, it’s closer to the equator than to the far north.  It’s kind of a political mess rather than being the “joy of the whole earth.” Jerusalem includes hills and valleys, but certainly there are higher mountains on earth.  Mt Zion is located outside the old city walls.  I think I am missing some of the picture from this passage, but Heb 12:22 says “But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly,”   At least, that passage refers to a heavenly or “different” Jerusalem.  There are a bunch of interesting web sites/videos about Jerusalem, geography, etc.

  34. B.  Regarding “far north”:  I should’ve read ahead before posting my question!!C. Read Psalm 48:3-8. What is happening?  God is demonstrating his rule over all the kings and governments of the earth.  To me, this is comforting and encouraging — but I imagine it will be very scary for the rulers who think they are in control.  Even though this passage is referring to the new Jerusalem, when God reigns on earth, it also is comforting to me now.  The whole idea of a citadel, of protection, is powerful.  In the past couple of weeks, I have experienced a couple of incidents — still too stunned to talk much about them — in which God’s had of protection was SO evident.  He intervened and spared me from harm by seconds, in the middle of the night.  Too vivid to attribute to “coincidence.”  Maybe in the new Jerusalem, we will be more aware of the extent to which God protects us?  Much of the time now, I am oblivious.  Knowledge of a new Jerusalem puts life now (and Jerusalem now) into a bigger perspective.

    1. oh Renee…..when you spoke of God’s hand of protection over you in the night…..25 years ago?……I was delivering the Baltimore Sun in the middle of the night for a few years.  I absolutely loved the area I drove in …..extremely rural and lovely and peaceful…..usually.  One evening I had a most unsettling experience with a couple of guys in a truck on a deserted road….it was heart pounding scary, but ended just fine….the next day my aunt (who was like an older sister to me and who led my mom and dad to the Lord!) called me.  She mentioned that the Lord had awakened her in the middle of the night with an urgent impression to PRAY FOR JACKIE!!!  You got it – it was precisely when I was thinking I was in deep trouble on that lonely road!  Oh how Jesus wanted me to KNOW that He was with me come what may!  The song “Lord I’m Amazed by You” surely comes to mind!!  I do feel I should hasten to add though…..even if there comes a time when an incident doesn’t end “happily” – as there surely have been those in the intervening years – He still used that particular experience to imprint upon my heart His presence with me no matter the “outcome”. 🙂

      1. Jackie, this story about you on a lonely road in trouble and your aunt awakened to pray for you … this gives me chills! Isn’t God amazing! He doesn’t always keep us from difficulty but He is always there and always cares and controls the BIG picture.
         
        Please pray for me as it seems that this week has been just one crisis after another as we deal with family matters concerning Dad’s passing and our step mom preparing to move. Especially pray for my relationship with my sister and I. Satan seems to be attacking a relationship that has been solid and caring for a lifetime! I have had a much busier week than I had hoped [again]! Looks like I will not get much more done on this lesson, but I do so appreciate reading along with those of you who are able to comment.

        1. Diane–I am so sorry for more pain, lifting you up right now...Lord, we ask You to pour Your mercy over Diane, she has suffered so much, Father. I ask that You would bring healing to the relationships, especially she and her sister. Bind the enemy, Lord, bring peace and understanding. Give wisdom as decisions are made, and I pray for soft and sensitive hearts as they deal with emotion-filled circumstances. Father, protect Diane, please renew her strength, shine Your face upon her in this painful journey.In Your Name we ask, amen. 

        2. Lizzy, thanks so much. Your prayer is just what I need!

        3. Diane, just seeing this. Will pray for you and the family today. 

  35. wow — just got goosebumps as I listened to The Holy City again — the shift in lyrics from the old Jerusalem to the new Jerusalem

  36. 5. Perspective and hope.  Reading God’s word can sometimes be like looking through a kaleidoscope; layers and angles and multiple truths.  It is a wonder and it is His glory.  Provers says it it the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of earthly kings to find it out.
    Because I belong to Jesus, love Him and long for Him, He will defend me and bring me through any siege to be with Him, whether in life or in death.  That is a great victory!  Nothing can take me from Him!

  37. 3. My thoughts on A, B & C got a little combined, but I’m really short on time & can’t edit!
    Jerusalem is described as “beautiful in elevation” “the joy of the whole earth” and “in the far north”—and we see in the maps, this is not geographically describing Jerusalem—it points to the New Jerusalem. God is in the midst of His people, that is where their beauty comes from, and it points to the heavenly truth, of God dwelling among His people.
     
    I became mesmerized (or distracted!) by the east wind. I spent a few hours researching…but it is interesting to me, the east wind is referenced 24 times throughout Scripture. God uses the “east wind” to bring the locusts and part the waters in Exodus. Eliphaz says to Job ““Should a wise man answer with windy knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind?” Then Jer. 18:17 “Like the east wind I will scatter them before the enemy. I will show them my back, not my face, in the day of their calamity.” 
     
    But the take away for me, is that the east wind cannot blow without God’s power. All is under His control. And He shows us here, SO clearly, WE ARE SAFE! We have nothing to fear! His people are secure. The Church will be attacked, from all sides, as we see even happening today, and then much more so. But He reigns. 
     
    In vs. 48:3-8, we see world wide attack, from all sides,conspiring together to attack the Church—and yet, the Lord is victorious, they crumble beneath Him, they panic!, they flee in trembling and pain. This cannot be talking about Jerusalem in their day, it would not have shocked the opposition by sight. This is the promise of God’s defeat in the end. 

    1. Lizzy, I like your east wind mesmerization/distraction 😉    So encouraging that WE ARE SAFE!

    2. Lizzy-So is there any kind of symbolism the east wide stands for? Or is it the wind God brings? Do you think it might have something to do with the sun rising in the east? Like the Light also comes from the east? I don’t know just throwing some things out there because I’m also curious.

      1. Nicole–that’s an interesting thought! I have not found anything on that symbolism (yet!)…Easton’s Bible Dictionary, East Wind: the wind coming from the east (Job 27:21; Isa 27:8, etc.). Blight caused by this wind, “thin ears” (Gen 41:6); the withered “gourd” (Jon 4:8). It was the cause and also the emblem of evil (Eze 17:10; 19:12; Hsa 13:15). In Palestine this wind blows from a burning desert, and hence is destitute of moisture necessary for vegetation.
        One commentator (Lars Larson) says this, interesting : “In Judea the prevailing winds blow from the west off the Mediterranean Sea, bringing moisture and mild temperatures that enable the grass to grow green and the flowers bloom. But from time to time the wind shifts and comes upon the land from the east, off the hot and dry Trans-jordan region and the vast Sahara desert beyond. It is known as the Sirocco Wind and can reach hurricane speeds. ”
         
        And then Spurgeon has a sermon entitled “That Horrible East Wind!”–still “browsing” that one! 🙂

        1. That makes a lot of sense and I’m glad you’ve taken the time to do some research for us all. Were can I find the sermon “That Horrible East Wind”?

  38. 4. But though the end of this world as we know it will be hard, that is not the end. Read Psalm 48:9-14 and describe how God is going to replace the “City of Man,” as Augustine put it, with the “City of God.”
     
    God is worshiped. God’s own are experiencing His love, His presence, and are praising Him. Our thoughts will not be full of Self! No idols! Our hearts will be fully satisfied, finally feasting on what we were made for. 
    Rather than sounds of violence, terror, profanity…every inch of the earth will be filled with praise. 
     
    Righteousness will rule. There will never be a crooked or unfair law again. And we will rejoice over His judgments—things we cannot understand now, the ways His judgments can seem harsh at times, all will make sense to us then, and we will rejoice in His perfect justice. 
     
    *V.12,13a—“walk about Zion, number her towers…”—confused here, does this mean to examine the ways of the Church, or individually, our own hearts? 
     
    Then v. 13c “that you may tell the next generation”—we, the Church, are called to share the Gospel “so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth” (v.10). 
     
     
     
    5. What perspective and hope does this give you?
     
    First, I am encouraged from seeing what God will do, His promised rescue, our security, our new citizenship—Ephesians 2:18-19 “For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God…”
     
    But I also hear the charge to share the Gospel, to keep the Church strong, to encourage one another, (v.10,13). The Church is under attack on so many levels. I see it in my job, on a very basic level—but globally, the attack on marriage, and so much more…it is disheartening, exhausting. Yet we cannot lose heart. This psalm reminds us that we are on the victorious side, and to stand firm. We can be strengthened by the assured hope to come. 
     

    1. Lizzy I am so glad you brought out how the church is under attack-so true. I was thinking of one way satan comes in and attacks and it is to take our eyes off of Him and onto morality-obedience out of duty not out of a heart melted by the Gospel..our kids are being brought up thinking Scripture is a rule book..EVEN if parents are living it and telling it otherwise. If they are surrounded by this at church then they tend to see it that way. After listening close to my oldest, that is one of the ways satan convinced him to turn. We teach them to be salt and light at school, to live out their faith and ‘how’…well, how do we know they even know Him yet?  Yesterday I emailed our new student ministry pastor and another pastor an Alpha Youth video. He said he would look at it along with the new student pastor. I so hope God moves in them as they listen. So pray. I want my boys to go through this at church as well. 🙂 I am helping with the middle school kiddos this year. We will see what God does. 🙂

      1. oh Rebecca! I was just getting ready to respond to your gold in your above post and then I saw this–praying right now for the student ministry pastor and the viewing of the Alpha video–that they would get a new vision for reaching the kids on a heart level. You are so wise, and yes, I agree with the Enemy stealing the JOY of the Gospel, it’s heart, and trying to have it be seen as a rule book…but I have been encouraged lately in my own struggle with my child’s heart–“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17, you have saturated your children in the Word–we must hope for Him to use it. They see the joy of Christ in you, you have passionately modeled before them living out a life pored out for the Gospel. I know I too often can fall into “obey your parents for this is right…”! and I only add to the rule book idea…so I pray for us both, us all, that the Church would model Christ. I always remember Mike Reeves, if we show them Jesus, they will fall in love with Jesus. Oh Lord, get me out of the way! : )

        1. Rebecca and Lizzy!   I see you both so passionately modeling the gospel and the heart of Christ before your families.  🙂  My own dear mom was my all time hero of the faith….and YET….there were times when her STRONG choleric temperment was steering the ship rather than the loveliness of Christ.  One thing she was – a “quick repenter”!!!!  Perhaps because her personality was so strong I found that piece of her walk with Christ SO endearing.  I believe that “quick repentance” is in BOTH of you…..and your children will not forget.  It is a precious, precious model.  I totally understand what you mean Lizzy, when you say “Oh, Lord, get me out of the way!:) “……but He’s just going to keep working THROUGH you, amen???  “To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles (our Gentile kids????) are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”  (Col. 1:27).  You both cheer my heart greatly!

    2. This is why I love this well here on the blog and I SO wish I had more time to dig like I used to..and to read everyone’s posts. Anyway, Lizzy and Jackie-you both are His kiss to me this morning..You don’t even realize it and so it is GOD. :))) :)) 
      As I was reading your response Lizzy I was reminded that EVEN if my boys have this impression from growing up in church it is GOD who does the work in their hearts..He is the  one who arrests them with His spirit in His way, His time and His season. satan hasn’t won. 
       
      Jackie-wow. What you said just put a dart in the evil one’s constant condemnation he is throwing at me. How encouraging. I have been like your mom-one mistake after another with my boys and in the back of my mind I blame myself thinking…you are the reason they don’t see Him in you-because of how often you have messed up. I KNOW that is a lie for I don’t have control over their hearts-He does, but He has brought me to quick repentance many times with my boys, and so the best thing I am doing is praying for them.  I do have to add that while I agree with my post-after thinking about it..His Word is alive and active-piercing. They need to see it is alive(HIs very breath! HE is the Word) and He can show them when they are young..for example, when my oldest was 2 years old he started memorizing scripture-I started with Ephesians 6:1,2 we said it everywhere we went-at the grocery store, etc. Then in his elementary years he memorized more, but the key I think wasn’t just memorizing but helping Him see God’s wisdom in them as things came up in life that we could apply it to. Also in wondering over creation with them-being in awe of God. So I don’t think it is wrong to teach your children it delights God’s heart when we obey for His word never comes back void-even if we come across to them like it is a rule to follow. BUT I do know with  ALL MY HEART that as we are melted by His Love-they will see Him in us..and that is all I desire for it is God who opens eyes and draws near-definitely not me! :))) I have been WAY too controlling in this area as a parent-the things I wouldn’t let them watch or read has had an effect now that they are older-and I was a bit ridiculous when they were young..It is good to protect their eyes and ears, but there is a level of ridiculousness that I went to.  They tease me now about it though which is a good sign. :))

  39. C. Read Psalm 48:3-8. What is happening?  v4 jumped out at me this time. “For behold, the kings assembled; they came on together.”  I don’t know WHY they assembled, but the next phrase, “they came on together” sorta sounds as if the world’s powers were ganging up together against Jerusalem or the people of God ???And then, my reaction wasn’t very nice.  I snickered as I read that the kings fled in panic.  Here are the most powerful, probably arrogant, powers among the nations gathered together to take on Jerusalem — and they panicked, were in anguish.  As I continued to read, the snickering switched to tears.  Whacko lab values might be related to my being more emotional — but also, I have a THING about people in power that are abusive and/or unethical.  I’m SO relieved that we are safe with God himself as a fortress (v 3).  It’s not bricks or hills or valleys or military power that provide safety.  It’s God himself.Q:  Were/are the kings assembled on the ships of Tarshish? or is that maybe other military powers? or cruise and commerce ships caught in the storm? Ok, I am doing some mid-post digging into the ships of Tarshish.  Short answer: likely trading ships, at least elsewhere in Scripture, they likely were trading ships.  Tarshish and ships of Tarshish were mentioned in prophecies in both Isaiah and Ezekiel.  (I used the highly regarded commentary known as Wikipedia and still don’t know much about the ships of Tarshish)

    1. Sorry that everything is in one paragraph — tried to edit a couple of times and I can’t.  Will try a different browser the next time I post 🙂

    2. Renee–I love this: “I’m SO relieved that we are safe with God himself as a fortress (v 3).  It’s not bricks or hills or valleys or military power that provide safety.  It’s God himself.” 
      And I’m praying now for those “Whacko lab values”–that the same God who is our fortress, will by His power, bring healing and calm to your body…so glad to have you back 🙂

  40. D. This is much more sweeping, Kidner says, than any attack on Jerusalem in the Old Testament. This is what was prophesied by Ezekiel 27:26. Find it and share what you see.I see those ships of Tarshish again.  Definitely trading ships there.  In Ezekiel 27, the word of the Lord is for Tyre.  Tyre seemed content in accomplishments and lots of fine stuff.  They had people from other areas doing their work for them.

    In their wailing they raise a lamentation for you and lament over you:
    ‘Who is like Tyre, like one destroyed in the midst of the sea?
    When your wares came from the seas, you satisfied many peoples;
    with your abundant wealth and merchandise you enriched the kings of the earth.
    Now you are wrecked by the seas,  in the depths of the waters;
    your merchandise and all your crew in your midst have sunk with you.
    All the inhabitants of the coastlands are appalled at you,
    and the hair of their kings bristles with horror;
    their faces are convulsed.  (Ezekiel 27:32-35 ESV)
     
     

    What strikes me is that the destruction was so complete that other kings were horrified.

  41. E. This is symbolic of the world’s end. Compare this to Revelation 18:16-17 What do you see?
    The wealth was destroyed — and it sounds as if people’s definition of a great city was WEALTH, and mourning was due to observing the loss of wealth ???  v. 14 quickens me here:  “The fruit for which your soul longed has gone from you, and all your delicacies and your splendors are lost to you, never to be found again!”   When the fruit for which my soul longs is Jesus, the fruit never will leave.  God’s people are safe because He is their/our fortress, not because He protects their/our stuff, or even their/our physical health.

    1. Renee!  “God’s people are safe because He is their/our fortress, not because He protects their/our stuff, or even their/our physical health.”  Amen, Amen and Amen!!!  SO grateful to see you back here with us again…..you go deep and I love it!  

  42. 6. Comments on Augustine’s city of man.  How unbearably sad and sick and evil we are without Christ.  Deceived and going out to deceive, saying that we are the crown of evolution and progressing to perfection.  That is what the devil claimed before God removed him from heaven.
     
    7. My take away.  Watching that video was like being assaulted by the forces of evil.  But my God – not just mine, but the true God – is mightier and He will prevail!  He will conquer every evil and injustice and arrogance.

  43. 3 C. Read Psalm 48:3-8. What is happening?
    God is the City’s fortress. The Kings are gathering to attack the City but as soon as they come upon it they were astounded and panicked-they took flight, they were consumed with trembling-in anguish and pain. His beauty and our beauty sent them into a huge panic. Holiness everywhere-The Great I AM..In an instant the once powerful with their idols were like puny mites-powerless, and I think at the same time their hearts were exposed and it was painful-dreadful. I mean being in His presence without His Covering-as his enemy-oh-it has to be like hell.
     
    D. This is much more sweeping, Kidner says, than any attack on Jerusalem in the Old Testament. This is what was prophesied by Ezekiel 27:26. Find it and share what you see.
    I see Psalm 48:7 in Ezekiel 27:26. the ships of Tarshish being destroyed-their power, their glory, their things that brought momentary satisfaction-their idol feeders, the people of power all being torn up and destroyed in the sea.
     
    E. This is symbolic of the world’s end. Compare this to Revelation 18:16-17 What do you see?
    The same thing basically-that wealth in one hour will be brought to ruin. I see God putting an end to the things we clung to for fulfillment instead of Him. our gods and idol feeders. I actually see rich countries like ours and others being stripped of everything. I see every man’s pride being stripped away with idols.  
     
    4. But though the end of this world as we know it will be hard, that is not the end. Read Psalm 48:9-14 and describe how God is going to replace the “City of Man,” as Augustine put it, with the “City of God.”
    So I just saw this! In verse 9 His steadfast love will be in the midst of His temple…We are His temple, right? In the New Jerusalem we will be fully like Him and fully love like Him-His Love will reign..God will be the center-not man, not baal, His Glory, Wisdom, Holiness everywhere. His praise continuously on our lips reaching the ends of the Earth and beyond. Intimacy in full..We will be glad even rejoicing about His judgments. We will be safe from harm.
     
    5. What perspective and hope does this give you?
    I see myself as a contradiction-that is the only way I can put it..I struggle with things like the men in the ships of Tarshish..heck i live in America! There are tons of idols here and I have been allured by and given in to them grieving God. So I want to run the race well drawing nearer to Him instead of falling prey to my idols. SO glad He has wrapped me in His righteousness and I have none of my own! I see the bad things that happen to me and the consequences of my sin as opportunities to draw nearer to Him and live in glimpses of the future City. I like how Lizzy puts it..”ASSURED hope.”
     
    I can easily let relational issues take my heart away from Him and throw me into this comfort approval idol people pleasing thing instead of walking in humble confidence of His Love and security-the future with Him as I will be, with you, the New Jerusalem. I do grow weary of my flesh and the battle but glad He fights it and my grieving Him will come to an end on that glorious day for He has covered me in His righteousness and wrapped me in His Love. He is going to finish the work He started in me and on that day remove baal from my lips.

    1. Rebecca–re-reading your post, I love your passion, it spills out here and honestly fills me with such hope, joy–as Dee has said, it is contagious! “I want to run the race well drawing nearer to Him instead of falling prey to my idols.”  amen!

  44. ok, so one more finding on my east wind obsession! I liked this from Spurgeon’s sermon on the east wind: “Since fair weather will not last for ever, it will be good to prepare ourselves to weather the blast. It will never do for us to have a religion which can be killed by the wind: we must be made of better stuff than that.” 
     
    And a few more thoughts myself, then I’ll let it go! But it’s made me think–there is a refinement that comes from the wind. I think the Church is being struck by those winds today–stripped bare in many ways, and our foundation is being revealed. I see ultimate hope in this, that the world will see the True Church–but also sense the reality of the destruction around us that awaits, and the harm we must expect. Winds are dangerous, destructive, we will feel the impact (and we do now to some extent)…yet His Kingdom cannot be shaken. 

    1. Lizzy-it isn’t an obsession it is a ‘quickening’ for it is something God wants us to see!! :))) AND I SADLY haven’t had the chance to read your post on it yet but can’t wait..I have to take a shower now and get ready for work. 🙁 🙁 So I am going to wait to read this post in it’s entirety until I read your original one first. 

    2. Lizzy, I am so glad that God quickened you to research the “east wind” since I do not have the time. It was very helpful to read what you have been finding. I especially found it interesting that the east wind in Israel comes from the “burning desert” and “destitute of moisture necessary for vegetation”. This is very helpful in picturing what the psalmist might have been thinking – hot, dry, biting, killing the crops and grazing lands.