For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.
Clap your hands, all you nations;
shout to God with cries of joy.
For the Lord Most High is awesome,
the great King over all the earth.
He subdued nations under us,
peoples under our feet.
He chose our inheritance for us,
the pride of Jacob, whom he loved.
God has ascended amid shouts of joy,
the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets.
Sing praises to God, sing praises;
sing praises to our King, sing praises.
For God is the King of all the earth;
sing to him a psalm of praise.
God reigns over the nations;(Ps. 47:1-9 NIV)
God is seated on his holy throne.
The nobles of the nations assemble
as the people of the God of Abraham,
for the kings of the earth belong to God;
he is greatly exalted.
The Psalmist longs for the full establishment of God’s rule on earth. As the Psalmist looks forward to the rule of the Lord being established, he calls for the nations to acclaim the great King by clapping their hands.
The NT assures us that every knee will bow and acknowledge the Lord.
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place(Phil. 2:9-11 NIV)
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
All people will acknowledge the Lord as He takes up his rightful place. They will stand in awe of the Lord Most High because of who He is and because of all of His wonderful works. There is no other king or ruler to compare with the Lord God Almighty.
The subduing of all nations and the inheritance of God’s people are linked to the bringing in of the kingdom of God. The work of redemption is the basis of the kingdom and the inheritance, these are the mighty works of God. The Lord has power and authority to bring all under his rule. The Lord demonstrated His power and authority over all powers in the Gospels. Securing the inheritance was an act of love. The term ‘pride’ is used here in a good sense, because the Lord is the pride of His people.
The Lord ascends the throne amidst shouts of joy. When the righteousness of God is revealed and all acknowledge His victory, then this is the cause of joy for His people.
It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. But there is a place where someone has testified:
‘What is mankind that you are mindful of them,
a son of man that you care for him?
You made them a little lower than the angels;
you crowned them with glory and honour
and put everything under their feet.’
In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them. But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honour because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. He says,
‘I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters;
in the assembly I will sing your praises.’
‘I will put my trust in him.’
And again he says,
‘Here am I, and the children God has given me.’
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.(Heb. 2:5-15 NIV)
The call from the Psalmist is to submit and praise. God is Sovereign and rules over the nations. God is always on the throne. When we fear that matters and affairs may be getting out of control, it is good to remember that God is still upon the throne. This applies to us all personally, to our families, our church, our nation and the world. At every level God is Sovereign, and we can trust in Him because ultimate power and authority are His. Every guardian, carer, supervisor, manager, prime minister, president, emperor, king and queen are subject to the Lord God Almighty. The most powerful people on earth have their breath held in the hollow of the Lord’s hand.
The Psalmist points to the consummation of the Kingdom of God, the goal of the cross, the completion of the application of salvation. The Psalmist writes the future as if it is already history. That is the certainty of God’s promise and God reveals this in order that His people will place their hope in Him.
Lord God, we thank You that You rule the nations, that You raise up rulers and replace them in Your time. We thank You that time is moving forward to that moment when Christ our Saviour will be acknowledged by all people. Lord this is an awesome plan, and You have called us to be a part of that plan. Encourage our hearts with the certainty of Your rule, for Christ the Saviour’s sake. Amen.