Psalms 45-48

Psalm 45‑48  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Few readers of the Scriptures can have failed to apprehend the connection in this interesting series of Psalms. In Psa. 44 the faith of the remnant rests upon the memorial of God's past deliverance of His people: "We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the times of old." (v. 1) Their present condition was in complete contrast: " But thou hast; and goest not forth with our armies." Still, amid all the exercises of soul thus occasioned, faith cries, " Arise for our help, and redeem us for thy mercies' sake." (v. 26) Psa. 45 gives the answer to this cry in the introduction of Messiah, who brings deliverance from enemies, and whose kingdom is forever and ever. (vv. 5, 6) This is followed by the celebration of His marriage with His earthly bride-Jerusalem-now robed "in gold of Ophir " (v. 9), and the consequent acknowledgment of the place of supremacy and blessing into which the bride has thus been introduced. Nothing could surpass the beauty of the details of this bridal psalm. Proceeding to Psa. 46, we find, as the result of Messiah's coming, that God is the refuge and strength of His people, a very present help in trouble. He has proved Himself to be so in power, as may be gathered from Zech. 14. The sixth verse may possibly point back to this if it does not refer to a subsequent attack on Jerusalem after Messiah has come. In either case God shows Himself to be His people's refuge and strength; and thereby so encourages their hearts, that they cry, "Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed," &c. (vv. 2, 3)
There is also positive blessing in connection with Jehovah's presence in Jerusalem. "There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God," &c. (v. 4. Compare Ezek. 47, Rev. 22, &c) Well, then, might the cry be raised, " God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her [as in the margin] when the morning appeareth;" for the advent of Messiah will be indeed the dawn of the morning without clouds. (2 Sam. 23:44And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain. (2 Samuel 23:4)) Verses 6, 7 recall the deliverance, and celebrate the results; verses 8; 9 give the desolating- effects' of Jehovah's interposition in judgment, and the universal peace that follows. God Himself speaks in verse 10, calling upon all to know, by the works He has wrought, that He is God, and declaring that He will be exalted everywhere among the Gentiles on the earth. In verse 11 the remnant again lift up their voices in their chorus of praise: "The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge."
Psa. 47 points out the consequences in government for the whole earth. Not only is Jehovah once more in the midst of His people, but He is also " a great King over all the earth," (vv. 2-7) He " reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of His holiness," &c. (v. 8) In Psa. 48 we find that now Messiah's authority has been established Over the whole earth, " beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King." (v. 2) God is still known in her palaces (a word that marks the splendor of the city) for a refuge; for notwithstanding the display of His glory and power, the kings of the earth (such is man as the tool of Satan) were assembled, but only to be driven away by the fear that seized upon them when they beheld the signs of His presence and glory. The ships of Tarshish too were destroyed by that same east wind which once drove back the proud waters of the Red Sea.
Thus delivered and blessed, the remnant now say (the allusion is to Psa. 44:11<<To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, Maschil.>> We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the times of old. (Psalm 44:1)), " As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our. God will establish it forever." (v. 8) Their own eyes have now witnessed Jehovah's intervention in power on behalf of His people, and thus their fathers' report was abundantly confirmed. Their hearts were therefore filled with thanksgiving, and overflow in praise and testimony (vv. 9-13); while their faith, strengthened by what they have witnessed, enables them to say, " This God is our God forever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death." Nothing will ever more separate them from His presence and care. This is the truth of Rom. 8. "If God be for us, who can be against us?"
E. D.