Great is the Lord and highly to be praised in the city of our God! His holy mountain, fair and beautiful in elevation, is the joy of all the earth – Mount Zion, the city of the Great King! God has made Himself known in her palaces as a Refuge (a High Tower and a Stronghold). Psalm 48:1-3
The elevation of Jerusalem was a big deal. At 2500 feet, it towered above the landscape and made it very difficult for invaders to enter. Turns out, an arduous climb is a pretty good defense (I know it would keep me out!) This verse reminds us that the positioning of Jerusalem is a beautiful thing – high above her enemies. Altitude is one feature that earns Jerusalem the title “City of God: Joy of the Whole Earth.”
It’s easy for me in my daily life to treat God like my cell phone. I put it in my purse or a drawer and then start a frantic search when I hear it ringing or need to make a call. While it’s amazing that the arrival of the Holy Spirit made God so present and active in our lives, I wonder sometimes: have I brought Him down to my altitude to such a degree that He’s become an accessory to my life rather than the Author and Finisher of it? He doesn’t come into my coat pocket, I come into His city…His great and beautiful and elevated city. I move His direction. I run to His refuge – even though sometimes it feels like quite a climb to leave the “low” stuff behind – and He takes me in and makes me new.
If I am lacking in joy, perhaps it’s because I’m asking God to squeeze Himself into my tiny, fragile world, rather than taking the big leap into His infinite kingdom…into His joyful presence (Psalm 16:11) which is so much bigger and higher than my temporary problems.
Tomorrow: more on this cool (and essential) concept of altitude and joy and how our thoughts – like our hearing on an airplane – are affected by the change.
Moving on up,