April 19 2023
Today, Wednesday April 19
Our God is King of All the Earth
“God has gone up with a shout, The LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! For God is the King of all the earth; Sing praises with understanding. God reigns over the nations; God sits on His holy throne. The princes of the people have gathered together, The people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of the earth belong to God; He is greatly exalted.”
As we continue to look at Psalm 47, we need to remember that Psalms 46, 47, and 48 go together. If we will humble ourselves as King Hezekiah did and believe that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). And we will “be still and know that He is God” (Psalm 46:10), we will be able to “clap our hands” and proclaim His victorious presence in our lives (Psalm 47:1).
I love verses like Hebrews 11:6; “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” And verses like 2 Chronicles 16:9; “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him…”. Verses like these assure us that we have a great God who is ready and able to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16).
Our God is not only an Awesome God, He is a Triumphant King (Psalm 47:5). God fills heaven and earth, but when He acts on earth on behalf of His people, the Scriptures sometimes describe Him as "coming down." He came down to visit the tower of Babel and judged the people building it (Gen. 11:5), and He also came down to investigate the wicked city of Sodom and destroyed it (Gen. 18:21). The night 185,000 Assyrian soldiers were slain by the angel, God came down and brought judgment (Isa. 37:28-29, 36) and then "went up" in great glory to His holy throne (vv. 5-8).
David gave a similar description of victory in Psalm 68:18, a verse Paul quoted in Ephesians 4:8-10, applying it to the ascension of Jesus Christ. From the human viewpoint, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was a great defeat and tragedy, but not from God's viewpoint. In His sacrifice on the cross, Jesus won the victory over the world and the devil (John 12:31-32; Col. 2:15) and satisfied the claims of God's holy law so that sinners could believe and be saved. What a victory! He then ascended to heaven, far above every enemy (Eph. 1:19-22), where He sits at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Heb. 1:3).
In Psalm 47 we also reminded that Our God Is King of Kings (vv. 6-9). A remarkable thing occurs: the rulers and peoples of the Gentile nations join Israel in praising the Lord Jehovah! He is not simply the God and King of Israel, but He is the "king of all the earth." It was God's plan when He called Abraham that Israel would be a blessing to all the earth (Gen. 12:1-3; John 12:32; Gal. 3:7-9), for "salvation is of the Jews" (John 4:22). Throughout their history, Israel has been persecuted by many nations of the world, yet it is Israel that has blessed the world. Israel brought us the knowledge of the one true and living God, they gave us the Scriptures, and they gave us Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. Today, Jews and Gentiles in the church are praising God together (Eph. 2:11-22), and one day in the glorious kingdom, Jews and Gentiles will glorify and praise Him (Psalm 67:1-7; 72:8-11; Rom. 15:8-13).
The psalmist saw God's defeat of the Assyrians as a sign of His defeat of all the nations and the establishment of His glorious kingdom. The prophets announced that the Gentiles would turn to the Lord and share the kingdom with Israel (Isa. 2:1-5; 11:1-10; Mic. 4:1-5), and the psalmist looked down the ages and saw this fulfilled. The Gentile leaders, representing their people, will come and give their allegiance and their praise to Jesus Christ, "and the Lord shall be king over all the earth" (Zech. 14:9).
Paul alludes to verse 7 in 1 Cor. 14:15 when he admonishes us to "sing with the understanding." The word "shields" can refer to kings since they are the protectors of the people (89:18). The kings of the earth belong to the Lord because He is the King of Kings (Rev. 19:16). The image of God sitting upon His holy throne is used often in the book of Revelation (4:2, 9-10; 5:1, 7, 13; 6:16; 7:10, 15; 19:4; 21:5).
For God's people, every day is Ascension Day as we praise and worship the exalted and ascended Lord. Our God is always, and forever will be, King of all the earth!