This Psalm of the Sons of Korah is titled Zion, the City of Our God. The psalmist wrote about Jerusalem, but he prophetically wrote about New Jerusalem, God’s eternal city. Verses 1-3 read,
“Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised
in the city of our God!
His holy mountain, 2 beautiful in elevation,
is the joy of all the earth,
Mount Zion, in the far north,
the city of the great King.
3 Within her citadels God
has made himself known as a fortress.”
Jerusalem was not great because of her people or her buildings. She was great because God resided there in the Ark of the Covenant. Later the Temple would be built and the Ark would be placed there. Now you and I are the city of God and He indwells us. One day New Jerusalem will come down from Heaven and it will be truly awesome. God will be there in every way. Revelation 21:2-4 describe our future home.
“And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Jerusalem was a joy to the world because that is where Jesus was arrested and just outside the city walls He was crucified in order to give us a way to friendship with God. In New Jerusalem, Jesus will be our light, we will have no need of a sun or moon because Jesus is there. Revelation 21:22-27 reads,
“And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, 25 and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. 26 They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.”
The people of Jerusalem felt completely safe from her enemies. God fought for her against them and until He chose to let Jerusalem be taken it was a fortress of a city. The victory being celebrated in this Psalm was one against the Assyrians, in which the Holy Spirit visited the Assyrian camp and suddenly killed 185,000 men. God protected that city from her enemies. He fought for His people then, and He fights for us now. No one can hurt us. He is our Avenger and Protector. Verses 4-8 say,
“For behold, the kings assembled;
they came on together.
5 As soon as they saw it, they were astounded;
they were in panic; they took to flight.
6 Trembling took hold of them there,
anguish as of a woman in labor.
7 By the east wind you shattered
the ships of Tarshish.
8 As we have heard, so have we seen
in the city of the Lord of hosts,
in the city of our God,
which God will establish forever. Selah”
New Jerusalem will be the city established forever. Jerusalem was thought to completely safe, it was because God protected it. But, because The Lord had to discipline His people He did eventually allow Jerusalem to be taken by enemies. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took the city and she sat empty and desolate for seventy years until King Cyrus allowed the Israelites to return and rebuild. (2 Chronicles 36:17-21, Ezra 1:1-40). New Jerusalem will be absolutely impenetrable by the enemy. God will not only protect us in that city, He will be there with us. Revelation 21:9-14 describes the walls and beauty of Zion, our wedding gift from The Lord this way,
“Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed— 13 on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”
After the Assyrians ran home in defeat, the people of Jerusalem worshipped and praised God. God saved His people from the enemy. He saved us from the enemy as well. God’s enemy is defeated. We praise Him all day long for our salvation. He loves us immeasurably. New Jerusalem is for us from Him. It is literally, Heaven on Earth. It is not for anyone who can’t appreciate the goodness, greatness, and holiness of The Lord. It is for His children. We will worship our Mighty God forever. Verses 8-11 read,
“We have thought on your steadfast love, O God,
in the midst of your temple.
10 As your name, O God,
so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth.
Your right hand is filled with righteousness.
11 Let Mount Zion be glad!
Let the daughters of Judah rejoice
because of your judgments!”
After their victory the citizens of Jerusalem acknowledged it was God who had saved them as they looked at their beautiful city, the city of God. They gave Him the glory and they remembered so they could teach each generation after them. Verses 12-14 read,
“Walk about Zion, go around her,
number her towers,
13 consider well her ramparts,
go through her citadels,
that you may tell the next generation
14 that this is God,
our God forever and ever.
He will guide us forever.”
We haven’t seen New Jerusalem, but we can imagine what she will be like. We have the Spirit of God to give us a foretaste. We have descriptions like those in Revelation 21. It will be stunning but its real beauty will come not from the pearl gates or jewel adornments. It will come from the presence of God. Its safety won’t come from its walls made of gold, but from The Lord. It is not a secret to be kept, but a promise to be shared. Envision the magnificence of God with us, not only in Spirit but in totality, face to face. The love, the joy, and the peace of God forever and ever.