The God of the City

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What is your favorite city, your favorite place to visit? What makes that city your favorite?
Maybe it’s a vacation spot. Maybe it’s a city that holds a special place for you because of a memorable event that happened there.
There is a city that should be special to all of us. The city is the City of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the place that God has chosen to be a central part of His plan of redemption for us.
Psalm 48 is a song that reflects on that plan that God has for the city of Jerusalem and how it foreshadows another city that you and I should long to enter. This city has many outposts here in this world, and we are in one of them tonight.
Psalm 48:1–3 ESV
1 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.
Let’s pray.
Tonight we are going to take a minute to look at a few things about the city.
The Centrality of the City
The Protector of the City
An Invitation to Worship the God of the City

1. The Centrality of the City (vv.1-3)

-all the nations look to Jerusalem
-Jerusalem is the city dedicated to the worship of God

2. The Protector of the City (vv.4-8)

-God has made Himself known by protecting the city
Psalm 48:3–8 ESV
3 Within her citadels God has made himself known as a fortress. 4 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
There is no specific event that is given to tell us what event specifically happened to cause the psalmist to record these words
Perhaps it was the event recorded in 2 Chron. 20 with Jehoshaphat had a huge army come up against him, so he declared a fast for all the people and they sought the Lord’s help. God told them to put the choir at the front of the army, because God was going to fight for them.
Whatever it was, God has shown over an over again his protection of the place that He has chosen to make His name known in all the earth. He has protected the city as an ongoing witness of His power.
Only in times of God’s judgment has He let the city be destroyed

3. An Invitation to Worship the God of the City (vv. 12-14)

Psalm 48:9–11 ESV
9 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!
-thought on the steadfast love of God as they worshiped
-Why does God preserve Jerusalem? For the sake of his name and worship among the nations
Isaiah 2:2–4 ESV
2 It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, 3 and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 4 He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.
-The final scene is one calling the worshiper to take a walk around the city and look at her. Examine the city and ask her to tell the stories she’s lived through.
-Did you know that the church has some stories to tell as well. This church has her stories. You have stories. Praise God for what He has done in this church over the 200 years she’s been here!
As we close our time in worship tonight, there are some final thoughts we need to cover.
Why would you and I care about Jerusalem? What good is this psalm to us?
Be honest, this is probably not the message you expected to hear tonight. It’s not the sermon I expected to preach tonight.
Jerusalem is a type for the church. Don’t get me wrong. The church does not replace Israel. However, the church is not the place of God’s habitation. It doesn’t make Jerusalem less important. God is not done with the city. But you and I are a part of another city, a New Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem has outposts all over the world in the local church, but its full reality will be found in heaven.
The same God that is the God of the city of Jerusalem is the God of the New Jerusalem. He’s the God of the church. He is worthy of our praise.
When people see what God has done to grow and protect the Church, which remember is its members, not a building, God gets the praise. When the enemies of the church attack her, God is there to protect her and turn their attacks back on themselves.
People are invited to see what God has done and survey the city. Know well the church that God has worked in.
Spurgeon said,

A man should be best acquainted with his own home; and the church is our dear and blest abode. Would to God professors were more considerate of the condition of the church; so far from telling the towers, some of them scarcely know what or where they are; they are too busy counting their money, and considering their ledgers.

Is the Church your home? Do you belong to Jesus? Do you know Him as your brother? Do you know Him as your King? Are you trusting God to protect you and keep you in His perfect plan for your life? Do you worship Him because He is worthy of your praise?
Tonight, let’s not leave before we praise the God of the City.
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