Read Psalm 47
For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.
1 Clap your hands, all you nations;
shout to God with cries of joy.
2 For the Lord Most High is awesome,
the great King over all the earth.
3 He subdued nations under us,
peoples under our feet.
4 He chose our inheritance for us,
the pride of Jacob, whom he loved.
5 God has ascended amid shouts of joy,
the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets.
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 to him a psalm of praise.
8 God reigns over the nations;
God is seated on his holy throne.
9 The nobles of the nations assemble
as the people of the God of Abraham,
for the kings of the earth belong to God;
he is greatly exalted.
Psalm 47 is a relatively short psalm, celebrating the Lord’s Kingship over the earth. Verse 8 proclaims, “God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne,” and reminds us as readers that God is sovereign over all. This psalm also reminds us that we can celebrate the truth of that proclamation through worship and adoration. In just nine verses, the psalmist commands us six times to sing praises to God! We are also encouraged to clap our hands and shout to God.
This psalm is specifically asking us not just to praise God, but to sing His praises. Not all of us are musically talented. Some of us are gifted musicians, some are talented singers, and some of us couldn’t carry a tune if our lives depended on it. In addition, we all have different musical preferences… especially when it comes to music in the church. So, why should we sing praises?
If you look at the setup of this psalm, verse 1 commands us to worship by clapping our hands and shouting to God with songs of joy. Verses 2-5 remind us what we are celebrating: an awesome God who has delivered us and already declared victory! Verses 6-7 then repeat the call to worship through singing, and verses 8-9 again remind us why: He is the reigning King who can be exalted! Singing praise is a tangible way to outwardly express our inward spiritual joy.
It’s also important to note who this command is given to: “Clap your hands, all peoples” (v. 1). The call to worship is universal. It is for the whole church, the universal church, for all nations, over all of the earth. Anyone who has ever participated in a congregational singing of “Amazing Grace” or “It Is Well With My Soul” understands the power that unified voices can have as they join to sing out praise to an Almighty God! George Rawlinson, a biblical commentator, once said, “Let a thousand people speak at once; all thought and feeling are drowned in hubbub. But let them sing together in perfect time and tune; both the thought and feeling are raised to a pitch of energy else conceivable.”
So the next time you have the opportunity to sing praises to God, may you do as Psalm 47 encourages us: sing cheerfully, sing loudly, and sing alongside all of your brothers and sisters in Christ around the world as we proclaim together His Kingship over all of the earth!
- What is your definition of worship? Spend some time listing how you express your adoration toward God.
- Singing praise is a way to outwardly express inner spiritual joy. Is there anything hindering you from being able to outwardly express the joy you have inside?
- List three attributes of God that you are thankful for in this moment. Express your praise to God for those three things.
Did You Know?
In Deuteronomy 31:19, God Himself instructed Moses, “Now write down this song and teach it to the Israelites and have them sing it, so that it may be a witness for me against them.” Music has a powerful ability to help us to remember words. Research has shown that our brains are hardwired to recognize, categorize, and remember patterns in music better than we remember words alone. What a creative and gracious God we serve, that He would hardwire our brains to help us remember His words and promises through song! Do you struggle with memorizing Scripture? Try kickstarting your memory by listening to Shane & Shane’s Psalms II album or any albums by Seeds Family Worship!