Introduction | Psalm 47 – A Sermon part 1

This was a sermon originally written for a class but preached at Sunday night service at my church. It has fond memories for me because of one response during the prayer time by an old man. My method of preaching is to write a stream of thought transcript, refine it, memorize it. This is not written to be grammatically correct but more how I pondered the words to say during prep.


A standing ovation is defined as a form of applause where members of a seated audience stand up while applauding after the extraordinary performance of, particularly high acclaim. We get the word ovation from a Latin word that means “I Rejoice” Normally they are reserved for matters of high honor as a response to something exceptional, yet we live in an age where it has gotten devalued. Political parties at press releases organize and manage when they happen for the benefit of the image of saying the president. I’m sure nobody has been free being involved in a standing ovation, whether it is at a sporting event, or a play, a concert, or even a movie. A Psychologist has noted that if 1/5 of an audience stands to clap the rest of the audience will feel compelled as well. We have in our culture an ethos of responding to greatness, with emotional response of praise or rejoicing. This is so ingrained in us that we have records going back thousands of years as a way of celebrating the military victories. Psalm 47 which we are looking at this evening fits in this tradition of rejoice before a great king, who is worthy of the entire honor that comes from a standing ovation.

The psalmist twice over has a call to praise in this psalm, in verse 1, 6; calling all peoples to clap their hands, to shout with songs of Joy, to sing praises to our King. Yet the bulk of the psalm is focused upon the why. Why should we be so expressive, so loud, so rejoice full over this king? The psalmist provides three reasons in six verses for us to rejoice. Understandably it worded in a way that was for people to sing, as we will sing this song in a little bit, and so he gives the three reasons, and they repeats them again with nuance, as should be done in good poetic form. The centerpiece of reasons why comes once repeated phrase in verse 5 that God has gone up with a shout, the lord with the sound of a trumpet. This is the undergirding for all three reasons for rejoicing and praise. The weight of the meaning is that our God, the Lord has ascended to his proper place as king. T

his language is that of the victorious return of a king after a battle. And so when think about the reason why we should rejoice we must understand them in that light that signify that our God is seated in his rightful place as King, he has been victorious in battle, defending his honor and his people and in light the magnificence of his work in accomplishing that we should sing praise, rejoice with loud shouts and clap our hands. What want you to see is that our praise flows from the fact that God has taken his rightful place as King, and that we should sing praise to him because he is a king to be feared because he reigns over nations and because he elected us. And that’s the three things we are going to look at, why he should be feared, how does he reign, and what does it mean to be elected.


The psalmist has his three points, and they go one, two three, and after an interlude of ascension, he follows it with one, two, three. And so the first reason, what we could say the primary reason for praise and worship is his first point as seen in verses 2 and 7. For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared, a great king over all the earth, and verse 7 For God is king over all the earth; sing praises with a psalm.

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