Psalm 47:2, 7–9 “How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth! … For God is the King of all the earth. … God reigns over the nations. … The kings of the earth belong to God” (NIV).

Observation: This celebratory psalm demands universal praise to God, praise from all nations, all people, and recognition by every king on earth that they belong to Him. We see here images of nations called to clap and shout for joy (see Ps. 47:1); we picture Him ascending His throne amid whoops of praise and sounding trumpets (see v. 5). All people, nobles, kings—everyone is called to exalt the Lord.

Application: David’s language is precise yet exuberant almost to the point of being otherworldly. He presents a God who is worthy of all praise, worship, and honor. He is above all a God who desires to be known and revealed to the hearts and minds of all mankind. This is no wizard hiding behind a curtain, wildly pulling strings and pushing knobs to appear impressive. No, He has completely removed the curtain, ripping it from top to bottom at Christ’s crucifixion. Now none are exempt from His call to passionate, unsurpassed praise. Every noble, every king, from the most benign to the profoundly evil, is owned by Him. 

This is not one of those passages whose depth will be revealed in a quick reading before rushing to work. Rather, it demands quiet contemplation. God is calling us who much of the time live with locked hearts, to soar to new levels of release in consideration of His attributes. In the revelation of the beauty and majesty of my bridegroom God, my woundings don’t fade into insignificance; they are offered up to the one who suffered ultimate wounding in my behalf. In His presence fear isn’t simply dimmed; it is obliterated. When I command my spirit to purposefully contemplate what God says about Himself, my pain and resentment are washed away. When I give myself extended time to consider the goodness and depth of His character, my own limitations are replaced by identity with one who is limitless. 

The reality is, I was made to be just like Him. In the councils of God before the beginning of time He purposed to love what he would create out of dirt—you and me. Amazing. To do that, He reveals glimpses of Himself so that through Christ I might assume His attributes. This psalm and others like it, set a standard for worship. He calls me upward toward identification with Him even as my old flesh is given over to death.

Prayer:  O Lord, You are worthy of all worship. I gaze upon Your beauty and am overcome by Your majesty and glory. How I praise You for Your excellence, Your mercies, and Your passionate pursuit of me. Thank You! Thank You!