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Devotional

Psalm 47

God is King Over All

In Psalm 47, we see that Jesus is the celebrated king who is both Abraham's descendant and God himself.

What’s Happening?

Psalm 47 invites the entire world to the coronation ceremony of the God of Israel. All nations are told to clap their hands because God is about to be crowned King (Psalm 47:1). And every country is asked to shout because God reigns over “all the earth” (Psalm 47:7), “all nations” (Psalm 47:1), and all “kings” (Psalm 47:9). But God’s King is not a global monarch, rather he’s an Israelite king. 

God has entered into a special relationship with one nation, Israel, through a man named Jacob and his father Abraham (Psalm 47:4). Through their family and the nation they would create, all the world would be blessed (Genesis 12:3). The psalmist praises God because he knows that through the ascendency of the King of Israel, all nations will be blessed, and all nations will inevitably praise God.

The coronation begins with yelling and the blasts of trumpets (Psalm 47:5). In the book of Samuel, this same description is used when the symbol of God’s presence, the ark of the covenant, enters into Jerusalem for the first time (2 Samuel 6:15). It’s a way of signaling that the king taking the throne isn’t just another monarch, but God himself  (Psalm 47:7)! God is taking his rightful throne, not just in Israel, but over the entire earth (Psalm 47:8). 

And as he takes his throne, nobles from all over the world recognize the sovereignty and divinity of Israel’s God-King. All nations are gathered and all peoples become one new people, under a new name—“the people of the God of Abraham” (Psalm 47:9). The promise that God made to Jacob and Abraham finally comes true and the world is blessed as God takes his rightful throne. 

Where is the Gospel?

God has always planned that through a descendent of Abraham and Jacob, a King would reign over all the earth. That royal descendent is Jesus. He deserves to be praised as the true King because Jesus is the rightful heir to the throne of Israel by virtue of the blood of Jacob and Abraham in his veins (Matthew 1:1-2). But Jesus also deserves to be crowned King because he is God’s presence in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16). Just as the ark was celebrated as it took its place in Jerusalem, Jesus deserves even more fanfare because he is God himself (Hebrews 1:2). Jesus is the rightful King of both Israel and the world. All nations are called to bow to him.

Even Jesus’ enemies could not escape the inevitability of falling to Jesus, the King, in worship. His accusers call him the “Son of God” in order to indict him (Matthew 26:63-64). The kings of Rome vindicate him as innocent of all crimes (Luke 23:14). The soldiers of the nations give Jesus a crown, a scepter, and a royal-colored robe as they bow to the true “King of the Jews” (Matthew 27:28-29). Finally, he is lifted up, ascended to a throne that happens to be shaped like a cross, with his eternal title “King” inscribed above him (Matthew 27:37). And as proof of the inevitable worship the nations will offer the true King of Israel, a Roman guard is one of the first citizens of Jesus’ new Kingdom (Mark 15:39). The Kingdom once reserved for the children of Jacob is freely opened to all who bow before him (Romans 10:13). 

And through Jesus' coronation, which happens to be a crucifixion, Jesus takes his seat on an eternal throne (Ephesians 1:19-20). And what was once meant as irony, becomes true. People from every tribe, nation, and tongue are right now and will forever sing the praises of the King who died to make all people his citizens (Revelation 7:9). 

See for Yourself

I pray that the Holy Spirit will open your eyes to see the God who rules and reigns as King. And may you see Jesus as worthy of your praise because he has taken his throne above all the earth.

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