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Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, an ordained Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.

However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.

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February 10, 2019


SCRIPTURE: Psalm 48:1-14


KEY VERSE: For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death. (Psalm 48:14)


THE THEME: The City of God is Jerusalem. It is a Picture of the Heavenly City (called the New Jerusalem). Psalm 48 also pictures the Messiah’s final victory upon the earth


INTERDUCTION: The following is a brief summary of Psalm 48.


·        As with Psalms 46 and 47, we do not know for certain who wrote this psalm, nor do we know the occasion for its writing.


Nevertheless, we do know its dual purpose: to celebrate the Holy City and her God, and to point us to the Heavenly Jerusalem, the city of God’s abode and our eternal home. This is, The City of God, Jerusalem: A Picture of the Heavenly City.


·        In most countries, one city usually stands out as the grandest and most important.


This city is often the nation’s capital. Visitors from near and far flock to these cities to view their sites and enjoy their attractions. In ancient Israel, this city was Jerusalem. Even today, millions of people travel from all over the world to visit the Holy City.


INSIGHT: In Old Testament times, faithful Jews journeyed to Jerusalem to celebrate the feasts, to offer sacrifices, and to worship. We can just imagine their excitement when, after a long journey, the City of God came into view. As they neared the gates, they would often break into song. Psalm 48 was one of the songs they sang.


I. GREAT IS THE LORD. (Psalm 48:1-3)


INSIGHT: “Holy Is the Lord!” by Richard DeHaan


·        There are some things that God cannot do.


For example, God cannot tell a lie. He can’t do anything that which conflicts with His holy character. What God is determines what God does. Since He is holy, all His attributes share in that perfection.


·        Let me explain what this means to us on a practical level.


As a holy God, He is perfect in His righteousness, justice, truthfulness, and faithfulness. His perfect righteousness assures us that we can fully yield to His will because He’ll always do what is right. In Genesis 18:25 we read, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”


·        His perfect justice means that God will be unquestionably fair.


Christians will be rewarded for what they have done (2 Corinthians 5:10), and the wicked will be punished according to their works (Revelation 20:13).


·        His perfect truthfulness assures us that we can take Him at His word.


Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man, that He should lie.” And finally, His perfect faithfulness tells us that He will never let us down. We read, “His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).


·        We can have absolute confidence in our righteous, just, truthful, and faithful God -- because He is holy!


Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide Thee,

Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see;

Only Thou art holy -- there is none beside Thee,

Perfect in power, in love, and purity. – Heber


 -- Adapted from Richard DeHaan, Our Daily Bread, July 27, 2002


A. Psalm 48 is the last of the group of three millennial psalms (Psalm 46, 47, and 48); it celebrates the final and complete victory of the Messiah. (Psalm 48:1-2)


(Psalm 48:1-2) Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.


When it says Mount Zion, it means Mount Zion; and when it talks about the city of God in the holy mountain, it refers to Jerusalem.


B. Notice the mention of “the sides of the north;” this is an interesting expression.


(Psalm 48:2-3) Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. God is known in her palaces for a refuge.


1. This probably speaks of a way of ascent and descent to this earth.


There is a remarkable prophecy in Isaiah which mentions Satan in connection with “the sides of the north”:...


“For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:13–14).


The “sides of the north” is apparently the route. Satan actually hoped to overthrow God!


2. This now is the setting for a huge conflict (a great battle) that will take place on the earth (See Psalm 48:4-8).


INSIGHT: Psalm 48:4-8 describes a mighty invading army ready to destroy Jerusalem and Israel once and for all! But Jehovah God has other plans for His city and His people.


·        (Psalm48:4) For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together.


The enemy forces had massed their troops outside the city. In overwhelming hordes they took up their positions in preparation for the assault. Militarily the city had little hope of holding out against such a concentration of armed strength.


·        (Psalm 48:5) They saw it, and so they marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away.


Then the attackers SAW SOMETHING that unnerved them. What did they see?


Was it the city of Jerusalem, as seems indicated in the text? It seems unlikely that the mere sight of such a small city would cause professional military men to panic.


It may be that the curtain between them and the invisible world was drawn back, and that they saw an army of angels poised to defend the city. Or was the mountain filled with horses and chariots of fire (see 2 Kings 6:17)? Or did they see the angel of the Lord -- the Lord Jesus Christ in one of His appearances?


·        (Psalm 48:6-7) Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail. Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind.


Frankly, we do not know. But whatever it was, it was a heavenly vision of such terrifying nature that the stout-hearted warriors lost their courage. The sight threw them into panic. Pandemonium broke out in the camp. They beat a hasty retreat, trembling as they went. Their anguish was comparable to that of a woman in the pangs of childbirth. The chaos and disorder among the enemy invaders was like the scattering of an ocean-going fleet when struck by a hurricane.


·         (Psalm 48:8) As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever. Selah.


The people inside the city are now delirious with joy. What seemed like imminent disaster for them has been turned to miraculous victory. They had always heard in the past that God was the Founder and Defender of Jerusalem; now they have seen with their own eyes. “We have proved what long has been told us -- that God upholds the city forever.”


II. TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH. (Psalm 48:9-11)


A. Now in their Temple they will worship Jehovah God and meditate upon His lovingkindness to them.


(Psalm 48:9) We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple.


Jehovah is the God of the Bible (all 66 Books), both Old Testament and New Testament. Also, Jehovah is the God of both Israel and the Christians. We should meditate on and praise God for His loving kindness to us. That’s what the believers were doing in Psalm 48.


B. God’s people lift their hearts in praise to God.


(Psalm 48:10-11) According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness. Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments.


They have had abundant reason to meditate on the lovingkindness of the Lord as they went up to the Temple with their thank-offerings. They reflect that wherever Jehovah’s name is known in the earth, there He is praised as the One whose right hand is filled with righteous victory. They call on Jerusalem to celebrate and on the lesser cities of Judah to be glad.


III. WALK ABOUT ZION. (Psalm 48:12-14)


A. They will then walk around the city of Jerusalem in a sort of post-victory tour. (Psalm 48:12-13)


(Psalm 48:12-13) Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following.


The people encourage one another to count the number of towers (every one of them is still there), to consider her bulwarks (they are all intact), and to walk through the now-deserted palaces (just as undamaged as they were before the enemy arrived).


It will be a wonderful story to share how God supernaturally preserved Jerusalem from the slightest damage! They will teach the new generation that the God who did this is “our God for ever and ever. He will be our guide even to death.”


B. They will realize that this God is our God from eternity to eternity. (Psalm 48:14)


(Psalm 48:14) For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.


1. He will be our guide even unto death, over death, and beyond death.”


2. This psalm concludes with a great hallelujah chorus.


INSIGHT: What is our job as a Christian? What is the most important thing we can do in this life? It’s to tell someone about Christ and take them to Heaven with us. Paid preachers and missionaries alone will never win the world to Christ. According to the Word of God, all Christians are to be missionaries, preachers, ministers, and witnesses to the truth of God in Christ Jesus. Our job is to witness about Jesus Christ!


By Dave Branon


I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men. (1 Timothy 2:1)


·        Over the centuries since Jesus died for our sins and rose victorious from the grave, many methods have been used to spread the gospel.


From Peter’s first sermon, when 3,000 were saved, to great preaching campaigns of men like Charles Spurgeon and Billy Sunday, to friendship evangelism, many ways of influencing others to accept Jesus’ free gift have been tried.


·        In a major city in the Midwest, another method has been launched: prayer evangelism.


In the campaign to reach the populace of this city, organizers have set out to pray for every individual. They have divided the city into sections, and all cooperating churches have been assigned the names of the people in those sections.


·        Of course, it will also take other kinds of contacts, such as literature or face-to-face visits, but prayer is the major component.


In 1 Timothy, Paul explained that God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). And the method suggested for beginning the work of evangelization is “supplications, prayers, intercessions . . . for all men” (1 Timothy 2:1).


·        What about your neighborhood and mine? Let’s begin right now to do some prayer evangelism.


For Whom Can I Pray Today?


-- Adapted from Dave Branon, Our Daily Bread, April 13, 1994


CONCLUSION: What have we learned today from our study of Psalm 48?


INSIGHT: To Christian believers Jerusalem and Mount Zion is a type of (1) “the Jerusalem above” (Gal. 4:26) and (2) the heavenly Zion (Heb. 12:18–24) (3) where our citizenship is recorded (Phil. 3:20).


·        We learned in Psalm 48:1–8 that it’s the city of God, the Holy City (Jerusalem), beautiful and joyful.


·        We learned that this psalm celebrates God’s future deliverance of Jerusalem from an invading army (Psalm 48:4–7).


·        We learned from Psalm 48:9-11 that the city is a place of God’s loving-kindness and righteousness, where His name is praised and His people rejoice.


·        We learned In Psalm 48:12–14 that WE ARE TO TELL OTHERS what God has prepared for His people and invite them to become citizens of Zion (i.e., Heaven) by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.


THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “Talk to God about people before you talk to people about God.”


* * *


REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network (www.ttb.org), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: (http://www.intouch.org/), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: (http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook (www.sermonnotebook.org), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries (http://rbc.org/), selected illustrations, and other references.



E-mail: Ronald Purkey


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