Today’s Psalms are Psalms 48-50.
A comforting fact about our faith is that God is always near us, always with us, and for those who trust in Christ, he is watching us and listening to our prayers like a loving father. These are important truths; we should be thankful for them and take advantage of what they offer to us.
Equally important, however, is to recognize and remember the greatness of God. That’s what the Sons of Korah wanted us to reflect on here in Psalm 40. God is near us and he is love but it is also true that “Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise” (v. 1a). The rest of verse 1 through verse 3 applied that greatness to Israel and her king. In verse 1b we were told that God is great “in the city of our God, his holy mountain.” This phrase described Jerusalem, the city of David which was elevated and sheltered by other mountains. But as great as the mountains which surrounded Jerusalem were and as lofty as Jerusalem itself was, God himself was greater, more exalted and lofty than any of them.
This gave God’s people confidence that they would be delivered by his power when attacked by their enemies (vv. 2-8). But in verses 9-11 praised God for a different reason–his moral perfection. A powerful God who was unrighteous, unjust, and unloving might demand worship by his raw power but we would never–could never–worship that kind of God with love, only with fear. Our God, however, is both powerful and perfect. His love is unfailing (v. 9b) and his “right hand is filled with righteousness” (v. 10b). Because these things are true, Mount Zion rejoices [and] the villages of Judah are glad.
Our sin nature is replaced by God’s righteousness and justice but Christ came both to redeem us from the just punishment that we deserve and to give us a heart that loves righteousness. Because we are in him, then, we can rejoice today that God reigns. As chapter 48:14 says, “For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.”
Let these thoughts prepare your hearts as we come together to worship this morning.