There is a time to be still (Psalm 46:10) and a time to clap and shout (Psalm 47:1). If Psalm 46 is a psalm about how the Lord saved Judah from the Assyrians, Psalm 47 is the declaration of this victory to all the nations around them. In Psalm 47 we find actions that we should display in our worship today: clapping of hands, shouting joy, and cries of joy. The psalmist instructs the people of God to sing praises to the Lord five times, four of them in verse 6! With voices, hands, instruments (v. 5), and joyful hearts, they exalt the Lord. God said He would be exalted among the nations and earth in Psalm 46:10 and Psalm 47 is the fulfillment of that. When God keeps His promises, and He always does, we should return thankfulness to Him with praise for everything we have.
As the Assyrians were defeated and retreated, can you hear the people of God rejoicing? They won the battle without ever having to thrust a sword or throw a spear. God fought for them because He loved them (v. 4). Not only is He King over His people that were spared in Jerusalem, but He is also King over the earth (v. 2). This is bigger than a defeat of one nation of Assyrians, God subdues nations (v. 3), thus requiring all nations to clap, shout, and cry with joy (v. 1). Sometimes, when God brings victory in our lives, we praise Him privately. God’s victory is never meant to be private but is always to be expressed publicly. We must tell others of the greatness of our God!
Verse 6 continues to stand out among the other verses. It’s almost as if the psalmist is telling the people to sing, but they aren’t singing vigorously enough. He says, “Sing, come on sing, louder, sing, don’t hold back SING! As boisterous as you can, let everyone hear your joyful and thankful voices that flow from the abundance of your grateful hearts.” The intensity of our worship should match the greatness of our God! He is exalted over the earth (v. 7) and the nations (v. 8a) because He is seated on His holy throne in Heaven (v. 8b). Every king around the world must gather and take note that the God of Abraham is the greatly exalted King of all Kings (v. 9). In nine verses His name is exalted nine times! They were worshipping God for Who He was not just for what He did! I like worship songs that mention God, Jesus, and the Spirit by name. Some songs are so vague “love songs” that one may wonder if they are singing to their boyfriend or God! May there be no mistake to those who hear us sing and may our worship not be given to another.
- Is your worship full of clapping, shouting, crying, and singing? Why? Why not?
- Are you worshipping God or what God has done in your life?
- God says He will be exalted (Psalm 46:10). Are you fulfilling that with Psalm 47 worship?
God, I exalt you among the nations and earth. That means everywhere I go, I will praise You. I’ll tell everyone I meet about You. You are the one for whom I clap, sing, shout, and cry with joy. Thank You for the victory. Thank you for the battle You won for us by defeating sin, death, hell, and the devil on the cross all by Yourself. You are greatly exalted! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.