O God, we meditate on your unfailing love as we worship in your Temple. As your name deserves, O God, you will be praised to the ends of the earth. Your strong right hand is filled with victory.
Let the people on Mount Zion rejoice. Let all the towns of Judah be glad because of your justice. Go, inspect the city of Jerusalem. Walk around and count the many towers. Take note of the fortified walls, and tour all the citadels, that you may describe them to future generations. For that is what God is like. He is our God forever and ever, and he will guide us until we die. (Psalm 48:9-14)
God is praised as the defender of Jerusalem, the holy city of the Jews. Why is Mount Zion—Jerusalem—“the city of the great King”? Because the Temple was located in Jerusalem, the city was seen as the center of God’s presence in the world. The Bible pictures Jerusalem as the place where believers will gather “in the last days” (Isaiah 2:2), and as the spiritual home of all believers where God will live among them (Revelation 21:2-3).
After an enemy army had unsuccessfully besieged Jerusalem, it was important for the people to make a tour of the city, inspecting its defenses and praising God for the protection it had offered. We can follow the example of the people of Judah. In times of great joy or after God has brought us through some great trial, we ought to inspect our defenses to make sure that the stones of our foundation—faith in God, knowledge of his Word, and the fellowship and prayers of the body of believers—remain strong (Ephesians 2:20-22). Then we can praise God for his protection!
We often pray for God’s guidance as we struggle with decisions. What we need is both guidance and a guide—a map that gives us landmarks and directions and a constant companion who has an intimate knowledge of the way and will make sure we interpret the map correctly. The Bible will be such a map, and the Holy Spirit will be the constant companion and guide. As you make your way through life, use both the map and your Guide.