"Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise … Beautiful in its loftiness, the joy of the whole earth, like the heights of Zaphon is Mount Zion, the city of the Great King." – Psalm 48:1-2 NIV
Mountains have been central to the religions of many peoples. Some even have worshiped mountains. Among them was Zaphon, called by one historian the sacred mountain of the Canaanite god Baal-Hadad. (The Hebrew word Zaphon also can be translated “north.”)
The Israelites weren’t to worship mountains, but important things still happened on high places like Mount Sinai and Mount Zion. In Psalm 48, the psalmist reminded His people that God should be central to their lives “like the heights of Zaphon.” They were not to worship this mountain (as the Canaanites did) but were to make Him visible like the mountain.
The Israelites were to help assure that His praise would reach “to the ends of the earth” (v. 10). They also were to realize that God was like a citadel, a fortress, where His people could run for safety and protection. It was “beautiful in its loftiness.” His presence would cause their enemies to flee in terror.
Mountains were visible reminders that God He is great and “most worthy of praise.” As Jesus taught, we are not to be timid about our faith, but bold. Let our light shine brightly for all to see (Matthew 5:15). Be open about our testimony, making our lives count for God’s Kingdom. Never be ashamed of the gospel (Romans 1:16).
May your testimony be like a mountain, visible to everyone. Lift Him up and praise Him. May others know that you worship Him.
PrayerFather, I worship You. You are great and worthy to be praised. You are the joy of the whole earth. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Extended ReadingPsalm 48