Verse 13. Mark ye well her bulwarks. Consider most attentively how strong are her ramparts, how safely her inhabitants are entrenched behind successive lines of defence. The security of the people of God is not a doctrine to be kept in the background, it may be safely taught, and frequently pondered; only to base hearts will that glorious truth prove harmful; the sons of perdition make a stumbling stone even of the Lord Jesus himself, it is little wonder that they pervert the truth of God concerning the final perseverance of the saints. We are not to turn away from inspecting Zion's ramparts, because idlers skulk behind them. Consider her palaces. Examine with care the fair dwellings of the city. Let the royal promises which afford quiet resting places for believers be attentively inspected. See how sound are the defences, and how fair are the pleasaunces of "that ancient citie," of which you are citizens. A man should be best acquainted with his own home; and the church is our dear and blest abode. Would to God professors were more considerate of the condition of the church; so far from telling the towers, some of them scarcely know what or where they are; they are too busy counting their money, and considering their ledgers. Freehold and copyhold, and leasehold, men measure to an inch, but heaven hold and grace hold are too often taken at peradventure, and neglected in sheer heedlessness. That ye may tell it to the generation following. An excellent reason for studious observation. We have received and we must transmit. We must be students that we may be teachers. The debt we owe to the past we must endeavour to repay by handing down the truth to the future.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 12-13. See Psalms on "Psalms 48:13" for further information.
Verse 13. Mark ye well her bulwarks. Margin as in the Hebrew, "Set your heart to her bulwarks." That is, pay close attention to them; make the investigation with care, not as one does whose heart is not in the thing, and who does it negligently. The word rendered bulwarks, (lyx), khail -- means properly, a host or army, and then a fortification or entrenchment, especially the ditch or trench, with the low wall or breastwork which surrounds it. 2Sa 20:15 Isaiah 26:1 . (Gesenius, Lex.) -- Albert Barnes.
Verse 13. Mark ye well: set your heart, mind earnestly, set your affections on. Henry Ainsworth.
Verse 13. Her bulwarks.
- The designation and constitution of Jesus Christ to be King of the church, King of Zion, is the great bulwark of Zion.
- The second bulwark of Zion is the promises of God, which are innumerable.
- The watchful providence of God over the church.
- Another bulwark is God's special presence. God is in a special manner present in his church.
- The last bulwark unto which all others may be reduced, is the covenant of God: "For this God is our God." John Owen.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS