Wednesday, March 28, 2012

God Does Rule and Will Rule

[To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah]

1 O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.

2 For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth.

3 He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet.

4 He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah.

5 God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.

6 Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises.

7 For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.

8 God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.

9 The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted.

—Psalm 47 KJV Bible

Psalms 46, 47 and 48 appear to be three parts of one story. Many think they are an account of the time when King Sennacherib of Assyria attacked Jerusalem in 701 BC, during the reign of Judah's King Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:13-19:37). Because of the possible time period, and because the writing style of the psalmist is similar to that found in the Book of Isaiah, many think the psalmist could be the prophet Isaiah.

The psalm superscription states it is for the "sons of Korah." The three sons of Korah—Assir, Elkanan and Abiasaph—were loyal to God (Exodus 6:24; Numbers 26:11). The descendants of these were also described as the "sons of Korah." Some later became singers in the Temple choir (2 Chronicles 20:19). Twelve of the psalms (42-49, 84-85, 87-88) are specifically dedicated to the "sons of Korah," possibly because of their musicality, or possibly as a reference to those who remain faithful to God even in the most difficult times.

The Hebrew "selah" is used after verse 4 of the psalm. The word is thought to be a musical notation to the choir director and musicians. It loosely translates as a break in the song or an instruction to pause and reflect, perhaps with a musical interlude. Some translators suggest the phrase "stop and listen." Others say that a more concise translation would be "let those with eyes see and with ears hear." The word "selah" has been compared to the word "amen" in that it stresses to the listener the importance of the preceding passage. The word "selah" is used in thirty-nine of the psalms.

This psalm of God’s kingship celebrates the reign of the Lord over all the earth. Like Psalms 96 through 98, this psalm looks forward to God’s rule through Christ during the Millennium. This is a Messianic psalm in the sense that the future rule of God spoken of will be fulfilled in the rule of Messiah.

In verses 1 through 4, the psalmist celebrates God' kingship. In verse 3, the psalmist states that God will subdue the nations. In the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John describes how God's Messiah, Jesus, will strike the nations and rule them with a rod of iron (Revelation 19:15).

In verses 5 through 9, the psalmist describes God on His throne, ruling the earth. In verse 5, the psalmist says that God has "gone up," or ascended to His earthly throne. This event will actually happen when God's Son, Jesus the Messiah, takes the earthly throne at the beginning of His millennial reign. Also in verse 5, the psalmist says that God ascends to the throne with the sound of the "trumpet." This is the Hebrew "shofar"—a musical instrument made from a ram's horn. By the blowing of shofars, military leaders called their armies to battle. In the Temple at Jerusalem, priests blew the shofars to give praise to God. In verse 9, the psalmist states that “the shields of the earth” belong to God. This is a reference to all the earthly symbols of authority. All authority is His.

O God, You are the King. You rule this world, whether the world leaders realize it or not. I praise You now and I look to the coming reign of Your Son, Jesus.


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