Life-Study of Psalms, by Witness Lee

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Psalm 48 is about the city of the great King.

A. Jehovah Being Great and Much to Be Praised
in the City of Our God, in His Holy Mountain

"Great is Jehovah,/And much to be praised/In the city of our God,/In His holy mountain" (v. 1). In this verse "city of our God" and "His holy mountain" are in apposition. This indicates that the city is the mountain and that the mountain is the city.

B. Mount Zion Being Beautiful in Elevation

Mount Zion, the sides of the north, the city of the great King, is beautiful in elevation. It is the joy of the whole earth (v. 2).

Verse 3 says, "God has made Himself known/In her palaces as a high retreat." The city signifies the church, the universal church, but the palaces in the city signify the local churches. God has made Himself known in the palaces, in the local churches. Thus, if we want to know God, we need to come to the local churches, which are a high retreat. First, God Himself is a retreat, and then the local churches become a retreat. The local churches today are a retreat. If you need a retreat, come to the local churches.

C. The Kings, Having Assembled Themselves
to Pass by the City Together,
Seeing It and Being Astounded and Dismayed

"Behold, the kings have assembled themselves; / They passed by together. / They saw; therefore they were astounded. /They were dismayed; they hurried off in alarm" (vv. 4-5). The kings here are the enemies, who are astounded and dismayed at seeing the city and who hurry off in alarm. They are seized by trembling and writhing, like that of a woman in labor (v. 6).

D. God Establishing the City Forever

"As we have heard,/So we have seen/In the city of Jehovah of hosts,/In the city of our God./God will establish it forever" (v. 8). God will establish the city forever.

E. Considering God’s Lovingkindness
in the Midst of His Temple

The psalmist continues by saying that we consider God’s lovingkindness in the midst of His temple. As His name is, so is His praise unto the ends of the earth (vv. 9-10). "Let Mount Zion rejoice;/Let the daughters of Judah [the people of Judah] exult/Because of Your judgments" (v. 11).

(Life-Study of Psalms, Chapter 22, by Witness Lee)