My wife and I have just returned from Brazil and Argentina to visit friends there whose calling in life is to bless the people of these nations with the good news of our awesome God’s plan of salvation that we were reminded of again as we recently celebrated Easter. When we remembered again that Jesus came to this earth, lived amongst us, taught concerning the kingdom of God, died on the cross to reconcile us to the Father and then rose again from the dead. But there is more. The Bible also teaches us that “after he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” (Hebrews 1:3). And still more! To the disciples after his ascension, angels spoke these words: “This same Jesus…will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” Jesus is the ‘complete package’ for all peoples!
As I reflect on these truths in the context of Psalm 47, I note that as well as being about God as “the Lord Most High”, it is speaking to the “nations…all the earth…peoples…the nobles of the nations…the people of the God of Abraham…the kings of the earth.”
And what does this psalm teach us concerning all these people and nations of the earth?
- “God reigns over [all]
the nations” – whether people
acknowledge this or not, there it is!
We are also reminded that “God is seated on his holy throne.” (verse 8)
- Then, as a prophetic word, the psalmist tells us that: “The nobles of the nations assemble as the people of the God of Abraham.” (verse 9)
- Because, like it or not, the reality is that “the kingsof the earth belong to God”and for this reason and much more, our God “is greatly exalted.” (verse 9)
When we turn to the Gospels, we note that Jesus often taught about God as king and particularly concerning “the kingdom of God”. In fact, in Mark 1:14-15 we read that “Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. ‘The time has come,’ he said, ‘The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!’” Later, when the disciples asked him to teach them to pray, he said, “This then is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9-10).
One day, in God’s time, what is “near”, and what is now the subject of our prayer, will be the reality, when “the nobles [and all peoples] of the nations
assemble as the people of the God of Abraham.”
All this as revealed in the Book of Revelation when John says that he “saw heaven standing open” and he saw Jesus “called the Faithful and True” coming to “strike down the nations [those unwilling to accept God’s rule]. He will rule them with an iron sceptre…[and] he has this name written [on his robe] KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:11, 15, 16)
Later we read that John “saw a new heaven and a new earth…[and he] heard a loud voice from the throne [of God] saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them . They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:1,3-4)
Obviously, we are not yet at this point in history. But, this was the psalmist’s hope, and this is what Jesus confirmed in his teaching and life, and this is what was then revealed by John in the vision given by God concerning “what must soon take place” (Revelation 1:1).
And so, with the psalmist we can applaud God and Clap our hands…[and] shout to God with cries of joy, [proclaiming] for the Lord Most High is awesome [as we] Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise, [for] God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne.”
And then we can join John when he quotes Jesus saying, “Yes, I am coming soon”, with the response, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”