I. Read Psalm 47.
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.
Clap your hands, all peoples!
Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
2 For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared,
a great king over all the earth.
3 He subdued peoples under us,
and nations under our feet.
4 He chose our heritage for us,
the pride of Jacob whom he loves. Selah
5 God has gone up with a shout,
the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
6 Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
7 For God is the King of all the earth;
sing praises with a psalm!
8 God reigns over the nations;
God sits on his holy throne.
9 The princes of the peoples gather
as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
he is highly exalted! (ESV)
Introduction – One of the great musical and worship revolutions in Scripture was when David brought the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6). At this stage a new kind of worship began with music and praise at the Tabernacle of David, while animal sacrifice worship continued at another location, Gibeon. Throughout David’s life, he worshiped at this Tent/Tabernacle set up for the Ark with musical praise and worship. (This was before Solomon built the temple and united sacrifices and musical praise.) This psalm reflects the great event of bring the Ark to Jerusalem. Verse 5 says, “God has gone up with a shout,” i.e., gone up to Jerusalem. David remembers Uzzah (2 Sam. 6:5-11) and was afraid of the LORD, and so reminds the peoples that God is to be feared (v. 2). Two ideas dominate this Psalm: 1) All peoples are to offer praise to God, because, 2) He is the great King over all the earth. The promise that God made to Abraham (v. 9) that all nations through him would be blessed, is the foundation rejoicing that God reigns over all peoples, and not just Israel. Because of God’s universal kingship, all peoples are to clap their hands and shout to God with joy. God is highly exalted!
- God’s kingship over all the earth calls us to worship. Do you fear Him? Do you rejoice in Him? How can you fear God and rejoice in Him at the same time?
- Count the commands to worship God. How many are there? List the ways you are to give God praise (clapping, shouting, etc.).
- Think of what God’s kingship means in your own life. How does God extend His rule to you?
- In your daily life and at church, does your worship look and sound like what this Psalm commands? How could you increase your physical participation in worship?
II. Pray Psalm 47. Write out a prayer based on Psalm 47.
III. Sing Psalm 47.
- Sing Psalm 47 with this hymn-like tune (Petersham).
- Sing Psalm 47 with this musical chant (Anglican tradition).
Contributed by Michael Shover, M.Div.