The Church and Her Head
Psalm 48:1-14
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.…

This psalm may teach us something of -

I. THE GLORY OF THE CHURCH. The outward is the symbol of the inward. The glory of the Church is not material, but moral. Mind is of all things the greatest. One soul is infinitely more precious than the richest domains. Think of some great man - Newton, Bacon, or Shakespeare. If all the wealth in that one mind could be yours, would you not choose it rather than the grandest of earthly inheritances? And how rich is the Church in mind! "The glorious company of the apostles, the goodly fellowship of the prophets, the noble army of martyrs," are here; and here also are thousands and tens of thousands whose names have been unknown on earth, but are written in heaven. The Church, like Jerusalem, is set on high, but. her beauty is not in "situation," but in character; her "elevation" is not in outward advantages, but in nearness to God. She has the "righteousness which exalteth."

1. The glory of the Church is not limited, but universal. Jerusalem was for a single people, but the Church is for all nations and kindreds and tongues. The light that dwells in her is to shine forth to all lands. The moral power that centres in her is to radiate its gracious influences to the ends of the earth. Jerusalem had her daughters - in the towns and villages of Judah; but the Church's daughters are to be found in every land under the sun.

2. The glory of the Church is not transitory, but eternal. It is not like the passing shows of earthly kings; nor is it short-lived and disappointing, like the glory of Jerusalem. It derives its being from God, and will endure while God endureth. Love and goodness can never die. Much of the glory of the Church is as yet hidden. There were mysteries in the days of Paul, and there are mysteries still. But the light will shine more and more to the perfect day. The past - "what we have heard," the present - "what we have seen," alike bear witness, and combine to raise our hopes of the coming glory.

II. THE GREATNESS OF THE CHURCH'S HEAD. "Great." (Ver. 1.) The measure of the glory of the Church is the greatness of the Church's Head. The certainty of the glory of the Church in all its transcendent developments, is to be found in the greatness of the Church's Head (Ephesians 1:17-23).

1. In the might of his power. His enemies shall lick the dust (vers. 4-8). Sooner or later, either with the joy of love or the torments of fear, the confession must be made - that "he is Lord" (Philippians 2:10, 11).

2. In the sweetness of his loving-kindness. (Ver. 9.) There is a fitness of place ("temple") and a fitness of method (" wait"). As we keep our ears open, truth will come to us. As we bend our minds in eager thought upon Divine things, more and more of the Lord's goodness will be revealed to us. It is the "loving-kindness" of God that has blessed the past, and it will, in like manner, but in larger measure, bless the future. God's loving-kindness culminated in the cross. There could be nothing higher. And the cross is the best help to our faith, and the surest guarantee of our hopes (Romans 5:8-10).

3. In the righteousness of his judgments. (Vers. 10-13.) The heathen fabled that Jove's hands were full of thunderbolts; but our God's "right hand is full of righteousness." Let us praise God for freedom. There were terrors, but they have passed. We have the glad sense of escape. We are free. It is God who has done it. Let us give thanks for Divine protection. Jerusalem had her towers and bulwarks. Round about her stood the everlasting hills. She seemed impregnable. But in the evil day of unbelief she fell. But the defences of God's people are better far, and can never be overthrown. Our "bulwarks" are not rampart and tower, but God's love and faithfulness. There will be assaults in the future as in the past, but the foundation standeth sure. There will be many a sore fight and struggle, but the powers against us can never prevail over the omnipotence of God. Let us rejoice in the everlasting love of God (vers. 13, 14). We should think of others as well as ourselves. We have a duty to our children and those who come after us. Musing on what God has done for us, our hearts will burn within us, and we shall be able to "tell" the generation following "the wonderful works of God." It is with exulting faith that we claim "this God" as "our God," and commend his love and his truth to others. What he has been to us he can be to them, and more. For ourselves we "know whom we have believed." He will keep us all our days. Our Guide into death, he will be our Portion and our Joy for ever. - W.F.

Parallel Verses
KJV: {A Song and Psalm for the sons of Korah.} Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.

WEB: Great is Yahweh, and greatly to be praised, in the city of our God, in his holy mountain.

God's Own Church the Object of His Special Care
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