Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Psalm 47

Reasons to rejoice (vs. 1-9)—There are many reasons to glorify the Lord and this psalms mentions only a few, and those are largely related to Israel’s situation. But the principles are certainly today. We clap our hands (in joy) and shout the victory He gives to us (v. 1). Such “victories” would be physical as well as spiritual to the national/theological country of Israel. So, why should such rejoicing take place? First, God is “awesome” (v. 2, “terrible,” KJV; “awesome” is obviously better here). He is the King over all the earth (v. 2). Knowing that our God rules the entire world is certainly a reason for joy and comfort. Further, He would “subdue” Israel’s enemies (v. 3), and give them the inheritance He had promised them (v. 4). Jehovah had, of course, already given them the land He had promised to Abraham, but for that “inheritance” to continue is a praiseworthy thing. The shouting and “sound of a trumpet” of verse 5 also have martial overtones; physical Israel needed victories over their physical enemies, and we need victories over our spiritual opponents. The Lord leads us to those victories, and should get the credit. The idea of shouts and trumpets sounding as armies go/went into battle is not relevant in our age, but it was a primary way of rousing the spirit and encouraging the faint-hearted in ancient times. The fife and drums of American revolutionary times would be a parallel. But because of His glorious leadership in battle, the psalmist encourages his readers/listeners to “sing praises to God” (v. 6), the “King of all the earth” (v. 7). These praises should be sung “with understanding” (v. 7), thus with full appreciation of what He does for us.  God reigns over (all) the "nations" (v. 8, KJV has “heathen,” which is probably the way the Jews of old would view the “nations”). He is on “His holy throne” (v. 9), gathering the great and small of the land to protect them (v. 9). Thus, “He is greatly exalted.” There is no other God like Him, of course, for only He reigns. This is indeed a psalm of victory, triumph, and encouragement.

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