Friday, June 3, 2016
To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.
“O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth. He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet. He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah.” (Psalm 47:1-4)
People flock to see a political figure such as Donald Trump. Hilary Clinton, or Barak Obama, especially during presidential campaigns. There are huge rallies and every effort to remind people of their accomplishments and emphasize their goals and proposed policies. These human leaders break their promises as soon as they take office, claim credit for what others have done and blaming their predecessors for their failures to keep their promises, and yet people idolize them.
David recommends giving God the same kind of adulation people give our presidential candidates. He has not simply claimed credit for someone else’s work, but actually created the world, and won the battles. He doesn’t lie about his intentions to get people to vote for him, but has an established history of fulfilling his promises despite the opposition. Unlike most politicians, he has demonstrated real concern for the common people rather than just the richest and most powerful in society. As a result, he is far more deserving of our adulation and praise than any politician, religious leader or entertainment star. Sadly, in many churches and religious programs, more emphasis is placed on the pastor or leader than on the Lord himself.
“God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.” (Psalm 47:5)
When the president of the United States enters Congress or a large gathering, his entry is announced so everyone can stand and show their respect. Prior to the development of modern loudspeakers, a trumpet was often used because it could be more readily heard.
“Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.” (Psalm 47:6-7)
In Hebrews 13:10-15, we are reminded what Christ has done for us, at God’s direction, to enable us to receive the benefits of being God’s people. “We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”
God is our king, not our political leaders or religious leaders. It is him that made the plan whereby we could be saved, and it is his Son who made the plan work. We need to enroll in that plan, even though it is outside what most people seek, and we need to show our appreciation by praising God, which verse 15 says is nothing more than thanking him for what he has done.
David says the praises are to be sung with understanding, recognizing the specific things he has done for us. He didn’t simply forget about our sin. He made an atonement for it, paying our penalty at his expense. He then justified us, restoring our citizenship in his kingdom, and adopted us as his children and redeeming us from the power of sin. Until we understand what was involved we really can’t appreciate what he has given for us.
“God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness. 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 47:8-9)
God is king over all the earth, not just the United States, and unlike our president, he has real power over terrorists groups like ISIS or Hamas. He can control the leaders of Iran or North Korea and protect us from criminal illegal immigrants. We need to turn to him and show him as much respect and admiration as we show for our presidential candidates.