Meditations on the Psalms #103

Day 103

Psalm 47: Read here –

Ps 46,47 & 48 form a trilogy of praise, celebrating the deliverance of Israel from Foreign enemies. In Psalm 46 the leading idea was the presence of Yahweh. In Psalm 47 we have the universal sovereignty of Yahweh, as the King of the whole earth, and in Psalm 48 we see the safety of Zion. 

This is a wonderful psalm of 8 verses, celebrating a great victory of a great King. Perhaps it was occasioned by the victory of a king such as Jehoshaphat (as in 2 Chronicles 20:15-23), but there is no doubt that it prophetically has in mind the ascension of the Messiah to His throne and celebrates His reign over the whole earth. In later Jewish usage,  Psalm 47 was utilized as a part of the New Years’ service. 

The clapping of hands (v1) draws attention to something, usually as an outward expression of inward joy. It is a universal symbol that transcends language, and the ‘all peoples’ refers to God’s promise to Abraham to bless all the peoples of the earth through his descendant, the Messiah (Genesis 12:2-3). 

Psalm 47 follows quite naturally after Psalm 46. Psalm 46 is focused on the security of God’s people, noting how God had delivered them from one of their great enemies. It challenged the nations to observe that deliverance and stand in awe before God. Now, in Psalm 47 God says to those same people: ‘Rejoice and be happy; the King of Israel is also the King of all the Earth.’ Shout to the LORD! Sadly, many who think a loud exclamation is fine at a football game think it is a scandal in the church. The reason for praise; ‘The LORD Most High is awesome’ (NKJV),’to be feared’ (NASB), ‘is terrible’ (RSV). This is presented as a self-evident fact, just like water is wet and fire is hot. All scripture makes a claim upon us, and the claim of this psalm is that we are to make and acknowledge Christ to be Sovereign Lord of our life. There is no true song in a self-ruled soul. 

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