Daily Family Worship

Psalm 47: The Song of the Ascended King

by | May 3, 2024

This sacred and glorious composition is a prophecy concerning Jesus Christ – describing the manner of His Ascension on high, and showing that He is to be King over all! “Sing praises, sing praises unto our King!” exclaims the inspired penman – thereby showing that this Kingdom of Christ shall not be one of that kind which stands by the power of force and arms; but rather, in the Word of praise and in the singing of thanksgivings. It is as if he had said, “This king, by the Word of the Gospel alone – which is the Word of praise and thanksgiving – shall destroy all the power of the adversaries, the world, and Satan; just as the walls of Jericho fell down by the sound of trumpets alone, without the Israelites’ swords or bows!”

As we are here shown in the first four verses, our Lord Jehovah is truly a God of splendid majesty. The universal and absolute sovereignty of such a holy Deity would be too terrible for us to even think of, if it were not for the fact that it is exercised by His Son from the heavenly mercy-seat! But even then, it is still frightening and terrible to those who are workers of iniquity. While His people express confidence and joy in His love, and while they animate and encourage each other in serving Him; let sinners submit to His authority and accept His salvation which is freely offered to them! Jesus shall subdue the nations under His scepter; He shall bring them as sheep into the fold – not for slaughter, but for preservation. He shall subdue their affections and turn them toward Himself; and He shall make them a people who no longer rebel against Him, but joyfully serve Him. But these verses also speak of Jesus giving His children rest and settlement; He Himself has undertaken to be the portion and inheritance of His people, and so they cheerfully submit to wherever He appoints the location of their earthly abode. This is the language of every gracious soul: “The Lord shall choose my inheritance for me; He knows what is good for me, better than I do!”

Praise is a duty in which we ought to be frequent and abundant (verses 5-9). But here is a necessary rule: “Sing ye praises with understanding!” We must understand why and for what reasons we praise God; our praise is not an acceptable service if it is not a reasonable service. We are never to forget the purpose of our Messiah’s exaltation, which is what the prophets dwell so much upon – namely, the conversion of the nations of this world to the Gospel of Jesus. His Holy Spirit is setting up the Savior’s Kingdom in the souls of men, women, and children all around the globe! And our Sovereign King reigns in our hearts by faith. It is His glory and delight to give us repentance and remission of sins. O Lord Jesus! May we exalt You and give You glory as our Prince and our Savior! Set up Your throne in our hearts. Bring our every thought into captivity to Your Word and will. And we ask that You would sweetly constrain all the powers and faculties of the souls of Your redeemed ones so that they may love, fear, and delight in You, and so that praise with understanding may rise to You from every heart – both here on earth and forevermore in heaven!

O Lord Jesus! Wonderful Savior! We ascribe all praises and glory to You, our glorious, risen, ascended, and triumphant Redeemer; for You have indeed ascended up on high, led captivity captive, and received gifts for many poor rebellious sinners, so that You might dwell among us! Amen.

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