GOD IS FOR US

GOD IS FOR US

Opening Prayer

Mighty God, on this your day I offer you my highest praise. I desire above all else to honor your holy name.

Read PSALM 47

Psalm 47[a]

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.

Clap your hands, all you nations;
    shout to God with cries of joy.

For the Lord Most High is awesome,
    the great King over all the earth.
He subdued nations under us,
    peoples under our feet.
He chose our inheritance for us,
    the pride of Jacob, whom he loved.[b]

God has ascended amid shouts of joy,
    the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets.
Sing praises to God, sing praises;
    sing praises to our King, sing praises.
For God is the King of all the earth;
    sing to him a psalm of praise.

God reigns over the nations;
    God is seated on his holy throne.
The nobles of the nations assemble
    as the people of the God of Abraham,
for the kings[c] of the earth belong to God;
    he is greatly exalted.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 47:1 In Hebrew texts 47:1-9 is numbered 47:2-10.
  2. Psalm 47:4 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here.
  3. Psalm 47:9 Or shields

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Meditate

‘God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.’1 Invite God to do this again today.

Think Further

This is another psalm of exuberant praise – which has also been set to music in different contexts. Like Psalm 46, it has a focus on the particular and the universal. The God we praise is the Lord, the particular God of the nation of Israel; whenever we see LORD (in small capitals, vs 2,5) that is a translation of his name, which was thought too holy actually to say. He is the pride of Jacob and the God of Abraham – but we need to note why we should praise him and who is invited to the praise party.

At first it might read like a nationalistic celebration: ‘He subdued nations under us’ (v 3). At first it seems as though he is the God of Israel, but not the God of the Egyptians, the Canaanites or the Edomites. However, there is something more nuanced going on here: ‘He chose our inheritance for us … whom he loved’ (v 4). God has set his love on Israel, not because they are great, or because they deserve it, but just because he has.2 Our natural response to thinking about the greatness of God is to think of ourselves as small – but the psalmist does the opposite, because he is so convinced that this great God is on his side. God’s power for us is something to shout about.

This God of Israel is also the God of all nations. He reigns over the ‘kings of the earth’ (v 9), a phrase Revelation picks up in declaring that Jesus is ‘ruler of the kings of the earth’.3 The celebration of God being ‘for us’ (v 4) isn’t in any sense ‘He is on my side, so he is against you’, but ‘God is for me – and you can discover that he is for you as well.’

Apply

In the different contexts of your daily life – home, work, school, neighborhood – what might it mean to realize that ‘God is for me’?

Closing prayer

Lord, you have called me to share my faith with others. I thank you that I am sharing joy, the joy of forgiveness, purpose, peace, and hope. May I be a joyful presenter of your grace.

Last Updated on May 21, 2023 by kingstar

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