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. (Psalm 48:1-2a)
The psalmist looks around at her city, at God’s city. She lifts her eyes toward the mountains, toward the heavens. She catches a glimpse of the temple, the home of her God. The temple was perched high up on the mountaintop; mountains were considered the most sacred of places, the meeting places of heaven and earth where the divine realm meets our earthly realm. And there, upon that mountain rested the very presence of God. The psalmist sees the power of the mountain. She feels the strength and stability of God’s defense. But she also experiences the joy of being with God and God being with her.
With mountains all around us, we too are surrounded by the beauty of God’s good creation. We too are reminded of God’s steadfast strength. And we too can experience the joy of God’s presence with us. When we look at the beauty of our mountains, I hope we can take a moment to give praise to God. If you ask me, this is a psalm for Wilkes if there ever was one. – rc