Psalm 47

1650 psalter

The Mighty One on the throne of earth

Three times in this psalm our attention is directed to God as King. In Psalm 46, He is our refuge; here, He is a ruling Sovereign. He is a great King, and a King over all the earth. That is a truth that should govern our thinking at all times. Circumstances and world disturbances tend to steal our thoughts, and bring them to a lower level. But we should make efforts to realise and to be conscious of the fact that the Lord God omnipotent reigneth, whatever the times or season. 

Four times the people of Abraham, God’s covenant people among the nations of the earth, are exhorted to sing praises. It is a symbolic number for universal praise. And it is incumbent upon us to sing with understanding, writes the Psalmist, which Paul corroborates in (1 Cor 14:15). The marginal reading renders it, “Sing everyone that hath understanding.” Only those who understand that their Saviour and Head has ascended with a shout and a trumpet to the Majesty on high, can truly sing. The New Testament shows that He has ascended in our nature, and yet we read here “God has gone up.” Who cannot but sing of the triumph of the God-man. 

Pastor Jeff O’ Neil

Recommended Tune: Richmond, Gainsborough


Psalm 47

¹All people, clap your hands; to God
With voice of triumph shout:
²For dreadful is the LORD most high,
Great King the earth throughout.

³The heathen people under us
He surely shall subdue;
And he shall make the nations
Under our feet to bow.

⁴The lot of our inheritance
Choose out for us shall he,
Of Jacob, whom he loved well,
Ev’n the excellency.

⁵God is with shouts gone up, the LORD
With trumpets sounding high.
⁶Sing praise to God, sing praise, sing praise,
Praise to our King sing ye.

⁷For God is King of all the earth;
With knowledge praise express.
⁸God rules the nations: God sits on
His throne of holiness.

⁹The princes of the people are
Assembled willingly;
Ev’n of the God of Abraham
They who the people be.

For why? the shields that do defend
The earth are only his:
They to the Lord belong; yea, he
Exalted greatly is.