You can generally tell where a map was drawn by what lies in its middle. We tend to think our home is the center of the world, so we put a dot in the middle and sketch out from there. Nearby towns might be fifty miles to the north or half a day’s drive to the south, but all are described in relation to where we are. The Psalms draw their “map” from God’s earthly home in the Old Testament, so the center of biblical geography is Jerusalem.
Psalm 48 is one of many psalms that praise Jerusalem. This “city of our God, his holy mountain” is “beautiful in its loftiness, the joy of the whole earth” (vv. 1–2). Because “God is in her citadels,” He “makes her secure forever” (vv. 3, 8). God’s fame begins in Jerusalem’s temple and spreads outward to “the ends of the earth” (vv. 9–10).
Unless you’re reading this in Jerusalem, your home is not in the center of the biblical world. Yet your region matters immensely, because God will not rest until His praise reaches “to the ends of the earth” (v. 10). Would you like to be part of the way God reaches His goal? Worship each week with God’s people, and openly live each day for His glory. God’s fame extends “to the ends of the earth” when we devote all that we are and have to Him.
To learn more about the Psalms, visit christianuniversity.org/OT222.
Psalm 48 is a hymn which may have been adopted as a celebration of Zion (Jerusalem). Scholars suggest it was used during the Feast of Tabernacles. God’s presence was declared to be in the city of Zion’s citadels as a fortress (v. 3). The picture of kings fleeing in terror at the sight of the city (vv. 4–5) held up Zion as a symbol of God’s protection. The call to “walk about Zion, go around her, count her towers, consider well her ramparts, view her citadels” (vv. 12–13) would have allowed those present to see Zion’s structures and gain a tangible sense of God’s presence and protection—a physical act of worship that would strengthen their faith.