Psalms 47: What We Want to See
Psalms 47 is another Messianic Psalm, and I find it very interesting that this is one of those that could probably be taken out of context by the priests around the time of Jesus when they were looking for the Messiah who would come and deliver them militarily.
Psa 47:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah. O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.
Psa 47:2 For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth.
Psa 47:3 He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet.
Psa 47:4 He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah.
On one hand, God already did that when He provided Israel with the Promised Land. He subdued the nations under them, and they pretty much walked right through Canaan when they were doing what God wanted them to do.
Also, this one seems like another Psalm of David, and as you will remember, David had quite a bit of military success. He was a skilled commander, and when he followed what God wanted him to do, he was blessed with a lot of success. Again, the nations were subdued.
However, verse three is written in the future tense which implies that it is prophetic. It will happen in the future. The nation will be subdued when God is a great King over the earth. The nation of Israel, as the children of God, would witness their King overrunning the earth.
We know that it didn’t quite work out that way. The kingdom of God did indeed come to subdue all the world, but it wasn’t by the sword. It also wasn’t just a kingdom for Israel; Gentiles were allowed into the kingdom as well.
Joh 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
The kingdom of God would not be a physical kingdom with borders and palaces. It was in the kingdom of the heart, and ultimately, every heart will need to surrender and acknowledge that fact. They will all be subdued.
Rom 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
Rom 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
I think that we need to be very careful about what we do with Biblical interpretation. I have to assume that this was an important passage for the Jewish leaders at the time of Jesus. They wanted someone to come in and overthrow Rome, and this passage from Psalms really does sound very militaristic. However, they ended up missing what Jesus Himself was actually saying. They were blind to what was right before them because they were looking for something else that they wanted.
That is what I am taking away from this one. We need to be careful about not imposing what we want to see on the Bible. Instead, we need to make sure that we are open to read what is actually there and are allowing God to speak through the text.