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Monday, December 4th, 2023
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 47

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Verses 1-9

  1. Intro:
    1. Title: God is too big to only be talked about!
      1. What a blessing when theology becomes doxology.
      2. My hope? that this will prepare your hearts for this Sunday’s worship service.
    2. Ps.47 seems to follow quite naturally after Ps.46...read vs.10.
      1. The challenge is to the nations to stand in awe of God.
      2. It moves from God speaking(46:10) to the Psalmist encouraging a response of worship
        1. Karl Barth wrote, Christian worship is the most momentous, the most urgent, the most glorious action that can take place in human life.”
    3. Outline: Hallowed Be Thy Name(1-5); Thy Kingdom Come(6-9).
    1. (2) Awesome - Terrible(kjv); He inspires fear & reverence.
    2. Over all the earth - think, local tribal deities. God is praised not over a hillside, nor over a whole region, but over the whole earth.
      1. Isaiah especially made fun of gods/mere idols in ch.44:9-20.
      2. He explains the irony of a worshiper finding a piece of wood & with 1/2 he makes a fire to cook his meal & with the other 1/2 he carves into an idol.
        1. In the same chapter he quotes God saying, I am the First & I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.
    3. (3) Subduing the peoples/nations –
      1. In 1934 the great British historian Arnold Toynbee began a study of world history that occupied him unto 1961 & eventually filled 12 large volumes. (Arnold Toynbee, A Study of History, 12 vol.)
      2. He isolated 34 distinct civilizations, including 13 independent civilizations; 15 satellite civilizations; 6 abortive civilizations.
        1. Each of these came upon the pages of history for a time & then passed away.
          1. Egypt, a great world power, but is weak today. Babylon, same story. Greece & Rome, same story. The Soviet Union fell apart. Even the U.S., though now at the very pinnacle of world power, is in decline & will not escape the inexorable law of history, namely, that “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” Prov.14:34 (James Montgomery Boice, Vol.2, pg.396.)
    4. ​​​​​​​When a nation is strong & victorious, they fondly suppose that they control their own destiny.
      1. The book of Daniel points out clearly that God is King over all the earth; King over all the nations; King over all the peoples.
      2. Especially shown in king Nebuchadnezzar life. Then in his son Belshazzar’s life.
      3. Remember him partying with the Temples vessels? Then the fingers appearing on the wall writing, Mene(shekel), Mene(shekel), Tekel(1/2 shekel), Upharsin(divided).(numbered, numbered, weighed, divided)
        1. That is, God had numbered the days of Belshazzar’s reign & brought it to an end; Belshazzar had been weighed & found wanting, & now his kingdom was to be divided & given to the Medes & Persians.
        2. Read Dan.5:18, 20,21(esp.21b).
  3. THY KINGDOM COME! (6-10)
    1. (7-9) Seen as prophecy! God is the King of all the earth(7); God reigns over all the nations(8);
      1. ends with all the nations actually assembling before God as his people(9).
      2. This has not happened yet. Thats why we call it prophecy. But it will happen!
      3. This is why we do missions. This is why we do evangelism. This is why we pray Your Kingdom come!
    2. Some have asked whether the kingdom of God is past, present, or future.
      1. But the answer is far bigger than the question.
      2. It’s impossible to explain the kingdom as being merely past, present, or future.
      3. It is all those & more, for it is also internal & external.
      4. It involves willing compliance & forced compliance.
        1. This is because the Kingdom of God is Gods rule, and God rules everywhere & all things.
        2. The only meaningful question is, are you a member of that kingdom or not?
    3. Read Rev.11:15 - Fulfillment!
      1. Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”
  4. Worship!
    1. Note in vss.1&6 this double command to worship Him!
    2. Worship = The very Hebrew word worship means to bow, thus we see that involves some outward act on the participant.
      1. Worship is a way of gladly reflecting back to God the radiance of his worth! (John Piper) [mirror]
    3. When we Worship: “Picture the Holy Spirit playing the role of a firefighter who touches off a controlled fire. The firefighter gives the fire its boundaries, yet there is a freedom to burn “within those boundaries”. As the 1st weed is lit it burns, crackles, & pops w/Praise. It burns to its brightest & hottest potential…then passes the flame along!”
      1. Let Worship be Contagious! - Like in Rev.4 The 4 creatures worship; then the 24 elders worship. Then in Rev.5 both 4+24 worship; then the angels; then every creature in heaven.
    4. The word worship comes from an Old English word meaning “worth-ship.”
      1. It is a private act that has 2 parts: seeing what God is worth and giving Him what He’s worth.
      2. Dan.4:37(NIV) Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just.
        1. Worship is the believers response of all that he is (mind, emotions, will, & body) - to all that God is & says & does!
    5. Importance:
      1. Praise was important to the Hebrew faith, to the point that God put a whole book of Praise right in the middle of the O.T. (Psalms!)
        1. Of the 287 OT quotes in the NT, 116 come from the Psalms, the hymnbook!
        2. Moses sang, Miriam sang, Deborah & Barak sang, David sang, Jesus sang & the 12 apostles sang w/Him, Paul & Silas sang, the Angels sing, & in heaven everyone will sing!
      2. Fact - Throughout church history great periods of spiritual fervor & revival have always been accompanied by a renewed interest in congregational singing!
        1. Historians have stated that Martin Luther (16th cent.) won more converts to Christ through his encouragement of congregational singing than even through his strong preaching & teaching.
        2. Of the Wesley’s (18th cent.), it was said that, For every person they won w/their preaching, 10 were won through their music.
        3. D. L. Moody (19th cent.) “Singing does at least as much as preaching to impress the Word of God upon people’s minds. Ever since God 1st called me, the importance of Praise expressed in song has grown upon me.”
        4. What did Spurgeon say was the best vocation on earth?
          1. “If I might choose my vocation on earth, I think I would choose above all things to write hymns & psalms, such as the Lord’s people might sing when they praise Him. And my highest wish would be to be one of heaven’s poets, to write psalms for the spirits before the throne, & compose celestial sonnets for the blood-bought ones who praise the Lord!”
    6. The only difference between private and public worship is that in public worship, individuals are doing it in concert with others.
      1. In a team of six horses, each horse is affected by the speed and direction of the other five. The same is true of corporate worship - it’s individuals worshiping God in harness.
    7. Col.3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms(psalmos=verb meant primarily the plucking of the strings & the noun was used of sacred songs chanted to the accompaniment of instrumental music) and hymns and spiritual songs(General term for Christian Songs), singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
    8. Hymns – A song w/praise to God. Praises composed by Christians.
      1. “Praise is the honey of life which a devout heart extracts from every bloom of providence & grace.” Spurgeon
      2. Ps.63:5 “My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.”
        1. (NIV) My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
        2. (Message) I eat my fill of prime rib and gravy; I smack my lips. It’s time to shout praises!
    9. Christian song is the overflow of the Christian heart. If our hearts are full, our singing will be full! Jesus made it clear there is both True & False Worship; both Ignorant & Intelligent Worship! Jn4:19-24
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Psalms 47". "Bell's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/psalms-47.html. 2017.
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