When passages in the Old Testament talk about God dwelling on mountains, I always imagine in my mind's eye that he is more of a spirit, floating just on the surface, above the trees and in and out of the mist and clouds. I don't know why, but that is how I have always pictured God. The writer of Psalm 48 is showing me an different way to view Him in "the city of our God, his holy mountain."
This city is beautiful, very high, and God is a fortress, commanding and protecting the city. Kings of the earth fear this city, were amazed by her. Is this city a retreat? A place to get away? No, I think it is a place to run toward. The writer goes on to described the Lord's power and glory while being the only one that is always everywhere. The author praises God for building the city and all the city has. I can't wait to see this city. I am sure everything I imagine about it is totally clueless. It makes me eager to see this mighty fortress and God inhabiting it.
1 Great is the LORD, and most worthy of praise,
in the city of our God, his holy mountain.
2 Beautiful in its loftiness,
the joy of the whole earth,
like the heights of Zaphon is Mount Zion,
the city of the Great King.
3 God is in her citadels;
he has shown himself to be her fortress.
4 When the kings joined forces,
when they advanced together,
5 they saw her and were astounded;
they fled in terror.
6 Trembling seized them there,
pain like that of a woman in labor.
7 You destroyed them like ships of Tarshish
shattered by an east wind.
8 As we have heard,
so we have seen
in the city of the LORD Almighty,
in the city of our God:
God makes her secure
9 Within your temple, O God,
we meditate on your unfailing love.
10 Like your name, O God,
your praise reaches to the ends of the earth;
your right hand is filled with righteousness.
11 Mount Zion rejoices,
the villages of Judah are glad
because of your judgments.
12 Walk about Zion, go around her,
count her towers,
13 consider well her ramparts,
view her citadels,
that you may tell of them
to the next generation.
14 For this God is our God for ever and ever;
he will be our guide even to the end.