>The gentle whisper

>God continues to speak directly to me in the Psalms.

Yesterday was a long day: a long morning of uncomfortable sitting, strained listening, and concentrated note-taking at Classis; followed by a long afternoon and a longer evening of frustrating searching, stressful sorting, and interminable calculating for taxes.

This morning I read Psalm 48:

Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised
in the city of our God!
His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation,
is the joy of all the earth,
Mount Zion, in the far north,
the city of the great King (1-2, ESV).

Classis is work, but it also is the church. The church of Christ is beautiful; it is the joy of all the earth. It is the city of our great King.

Within her citadels God
has made himself known as a fortress (3).

Within the church, we hear God’s Word proclaimed. God has made himself known as our fortress.

Verses 4-7 describe how God will bring panic and choas to the rulers who fight against the church. Verse 8 assures us:

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.

God’s Word speaks to us of his power and care for his people, and that Word is affirmed time and again in our lives. The church will not be overcome; God has established his city forever. What a comforting thought to hold in our hearts and minds!

We have thought on your steadfast love, O God,
in the midst of your temple (9).

Just as God’s name fills the earth, so his praise “reaches to the ends of the earth” and we see evidence that his “right hand is filled with righteousness” (10).

The rest of verse 10 and verse 11 are strong imperatives:

Let Mount Zion be glad!
Let the daughters of Judah rejoice
because of your judgments!

We can rejoice because of God’s righteous judgments.

One can easily imagine the people of Israel, walking around the city of Jerusalem, thinking about the ways God has delivered them:

Walk about Zion, go around her,
number her towers,
consider well her ramparts,
go through her citadels (12-13a).

Even though we can’t see Jerusalem’s walls and towers, we have seen more of God’s goodness and provision than the Israelites. We’ve seen the bright light of the Son of Salvation. We’ve seen the walls and towers of Christ’s church. Think about these things so…

that you may tell the next generation
that this is God,
our God forever and ever.
He will guide us forever (13a-14).

This morning I was like Elijah, crying in the cave. In my pity party, I felt that my limited witness was ineffective. I felt all alone.

But God has reserved for himself 7,000 whose knees have not bowed to Baal (1 Kings 19). There are many workers in Christ’s church. I am not alone.

I have no idea how God might use my writing, but I am called to exalt God by proclaiming the beauties of his holy city to this and the next generation.

I don’t need to be popular or well-paid. I don’t need to hear God’s voice in a rending wind, or a powerful earthquake, or a consuming fire. I just need to be still and listen. I must trust and obey God, who speaks to me in a gentle whisper.

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