Throughout September 2022, I managed to read and reflect – briefly – on a Psalm each day. For December 2022, attempted to pick up the discipline. I got part-way through that month, and so after a long hiatus, am determined to get going. I’ll read the Psalm, pray, and then ponder a few questions:
- What is this Psalm about?
- What does this Psalm teach about God?
- How does this Psalm connect to God’s people today?
I’ll close the post with a simple prayer, trying to draw the themes together.
On the 15th of September 2023, here’s Psalm 47:
1 Clap your hands, all you nations;
shout to God with cries of joy.
2 For the Lord Most High is awesome,
the great King over all the earth.
3 He subdued nations under us,
peoples under our feet.
4 He chose our inheritance for us,
the pride of Jacob, whom he loved.[b]
5 God has ascended amid shouts of joy,
the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets.
6 Sing praises to God, sing praises;
sing praises to our King, sing praises.
7 For God is the King of all the earth;
sing to him a psalm of praise.
8 God reigns over the nations;
God is seated on his holy throne.
9 The nobles of the nations assemble
as the people of the God of Abraham,
for the kings[c] of the earth belong to God;
he is greatly exalted.
What is this Psalm about?
It seems to me that this Psalm is about praising God! Verse 7 alludes to a ‘Psalm of praise’, which if ever there was one, I think this is it. It is a joyful Psalm from God’s people to and about God, who is to be, and is by these words, ‘greatly exalted’.
What does this Psalm teach about God?
The opening verse, and a key theme, of Psalm 47 is that God can be addressed and spoken to. It also teaches a range of truths about God: God is ‘The Lord Most High’, is awesome, and is king (v2, also 6+7 for Kingship). He subdues nations, loves his people (v4), reigns from a throne (v8), and in some way owns everything (v9b). This is a very royal Psalm, with worship and royalty being deeply intertwined.
How does this Psalm connect to God’s people today?
In a world of division, verse 1 speaks to a united people drawn from all nations. In a world of sadness, verses 5 and 6 invite us to consider joy and praise. Verse 7 reminds us of the truth of God’s kingship – in light of which we can praise him. This is, I tihnk, a reassuring Psalm.
A prayer drawn from Psalm 47
Lord, you are king of all the earth. Help us to sing praise to you, in every kind of day. Lord, I seek to greatly exalt you – help me lift my eyes to you, for you have chosen my inheritance, and you reign from your heavenly throne. Amen!