Meditations on the Psalms – Week 5: Psalm 47 – Kingship

We live in a society where political systems have a great deal of power over us, whether we recognize it or not. This is not inherently a bad thing. Sometimes such systems provide great benefits and help people flourish. Other times similar systems continue the cycle of oppression and poverty that stunts advancement and inhibit social mobility. In extreme cases, those in power inflict incredible evil upon the least or the unwanted. Political power can be wielded both in good and evil ways, as history reveals. So it is no surprise that the psalms deal with the issue of power and authority in our lives. The psalm this week is Psalm 47, which is a Psalm of Kingship.

The more we look at the brokenness of the world, it is easy to become discouraged and even bitter about the typical proceedings of political structures. This is one reason why I love the message encapsulated in Psalm 47, specifically verse 7: “For God is the King of all the earth.” This is not simply a quaint phrase about God’s power, it is a political proclamation of who is ultimately in charge of the entire world. When Jesus ascended into heaven, he assumed the role of King and his Kingship is our advancement; his eternal victory is our own. All of history and all of culture belong to Christ. This is hopeful news for us as we journey and make our pilgrimage through our world.

Kingship seems like a big topic, and it definitely has transformative cosmic effects, but we must also consider the question of our own hearts, “How does daily life change if Jesus is King?” What does it look like to live a life where I am constantly reminded that “God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne” (v8)? So as you pray and reflect on this Psalms throughout the week, seek ways to enthrone Christ in your own life and exalt him as rightful King of All.

Psalm 47 (ESV)

God Is King over All the Earth

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.

47 Clap your hands, all peoples!
    Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared,
    a great king over all the earth.
He subdued peoples under us,
    and nations under our feet.
He chose our heritage for us,
    the pride of Jacob whom he loves. Selah

God has gone up with a shout,
    the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
    Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
    sing praises with a psalm![a]

God reigns over the nations;
    God sits on his holy throne.
The princes of the peoples gather
    as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
    he is highly exalted!

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 47:7 Hebrew maskil

English Standard Version (ESV)The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Read the rest of the Meditations on the Psalms series.