In recognizing who God is and how good He is to us, it should be easy for us to praise and worship Him. It’s true, that it’s an ongoing battle to make Him #1 in our lives in every area, but recognizing the fullness of who He is will help us with that. Psalm 47 is a small but important reminder that He deserves all praise, honor, and glory.
The psalmist encourages us to clap our hands, shout and sing, and in any other way praise God. IN verse 2 he writes that the Lord Most High is to be feared. The original word is the Hebrew yaré which yes, means a respectful reverence and awesome wonder, but also literally to fear Him. I think too often we avoid the word fear when talking about God because it makes us feel uncomfortable. However, if God weren’t one to be feared by us as mere mortal humans, would He really be the “Lord Most High”? I don’t think so! But the psalmist doesn’t stop there. Despite the fearsome, all-knowing, all-powerful God, He gives us victory over our adversaries and blesses us with an inheritance of overwhelming love. Yes, we should shout for joy when we understand this!
Unfortunately, we minimize this victory that God gives us. We think that our difficult boss, our tumultuous family, or even our stressful spouse is who we need victory over. We are so blinded from the truth. Remember what Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:12
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
The enemy is constantly working against the relationships in our lives (with ourselves, with others, and with God Himself) because he knows that when these relationship flourish, we are strong in the Lord and our faith! True love can only exist in relationships, so if the enemy (whose only aim is to destroy, steal, and kill) can wreak havoc in all or our relationships, then there is no room for love. This is why we read in 1 Peter 4:
8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Be hospitable to one another without complaint.
So as the psalmist writes about God’s reign over all nations and all the earth, let us contemplate His reign in our hearts. Are we taking up God’s armor today? Are we injecting love into our relationships instead of complaints and accusations? Let us remember what Jesus said (paraphrased):
It doesn’t matter what someone does to you, but how you respond to them regardless of what they deserve.
We praise God with everything we have because He loves us this way. We worship the One True God because despite our iniquities He has prepared for us a great inheritance beyond our wildest dreams! We adore Him because He is our King, Savior, and Friend. We exalt Him because we have victory over the wickedness and sin of this world.