April 18 2023
Today, Tuesday April 18
Our Awesome God
“Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! For the LORD Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth. He will subdue the peoples under us, And the nations under our feet. He will choose our inheritance for us, The excellence of Jacob whom He loves. Selah
God has gone up with a shout, The LORD with the sound of a trumpet.”
We can imagine that the Hebrews were delirious with delight. History had known nothing like it. It was a defeat to the pride and might of King Sennacherib, a defeat from which he would never recover. Never again would Assyrian armies tramp across Judean hills. Hezekiah went quietly to his room, looked over his previous psalm, Psalm 46, the psalm he wrote the night before reminding himself and the people of the LORD who was their refuge, their river of life and joy, and the ruler of all the earth.
It was written when all seemed as black as could be, but now he took his pen to write its sequel, Psalm 47. Only now the spirit of prophecy was upon him: he wrote not just of the defeat of Assyria, but of the coming defeat of all the world's armies at Megiddo and the dawn of a new millennial day. To really appreciate and understand these Psalms, please take the time to read about this event in 2 Kings 18-19 and Isaiah 37.
As the people of Israel praise their God to the Gentiles around them, they make three affirmations about Him.
First in verses 1-4, they acknowledge that God Is an Awesome King.
In Psalm 46:10, the people were told to “be still and know that God is their God”. Remember when the people of Israel left Egypt and they came to the Red Sea, and Pharoah was pursuing them with his mighty army? The mountains were on both sides, the sea was in front of them and Pharoah was behind them! They had no where to go! It was then that Moses said, "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace" (Exodus 14:13-14). Maybe this is what Isaiah and King Hezekiah were thinking about the night before surrounded by the Assyrian army with no way out!
But now we move from "Be still" (46:10) to shouting, clapping, and the blowing of trumpets. Jewish worship was enthusiastic, but they also knew how to be quiet before the Lord and wait upon Him (Lam. 2:10; Hab. 2:4; Zeph. 1:7; Zech. 2:13). Since the theme of the psalm is the kingship of the Lord, they worshiped Him the way they welcomed a new king (1 Samuel 10:24; 2 Kings 11:12-13, 20). "The shout of a king is among them" (Numbers 23:21).
The early church patterned its worship after the synagogue and emphasized prayer, the reading and expounding of Scripture, and the singing of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. When the Jewish people clapped their hands and shouted, it was to the Lord in response to His marvelous works. They did not do it to praise the people who participated in the worship service.
To know God is to know One who is awesome in all that He is, says, and does (Psalm 65:8; 76:7, 12). Jerusalem's deliverance from Sennacherib proved once more that the God of Israel was greater than all gods and deserved all the praise His people could bring to Him. He gave them victory over the nations in Canaan and gave them the land for their inheritance (135:4; Ex. 15:17; 19:5; Deut. 4:21, 37-38; 32:8). Since God chose the Jews in His love and gave them their land in His grace, what right did the Assyrians have to try to take it from them? (See 2 Chron. 20:10-12.) The land of Israel is very special to the Lord and He watches over it (Deut. 8:7-20; 11:10-12).
We need to remember today that we are His chosen ones! Ephesians 1:3-4 tells us, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love…”. Today we are His special children!
Jesus told us in Matthew 10:29-31, “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
You don’t need to fear! You can trust our awesome God today to take care of your every need!