Transition In 2
The first reason our psalmist has given for praising God is because he is a God to be feared because he establishes his reign as King by creating the world, and by recreating and transitioning a people to the new creation through an exodus. The passage of Noah and the exodus of Israel were types of the exodus of Christ by which we are brought into a new creation, not of this world. The second point of the psalmist flows from this as he says in verse 3 and 8 He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet, God reigns over the nations; God sit on his holy throne. And so now let us look at how God establishes and maintains his reign in this age and the age to come.
Israel after their exodus came out of Egypt being led by God they were supposed by under his command enter into the land of Canaan and subdue all the peoples by driving them out from the lands and taking possession of the land in the name of God. But as you read through the book of Joshua and Judges, quite off the subduing came thought the hand of God, through miraculous means. It was after the all the enemies of Israel were subdued that there would be rest and peace and prosperity in the land. We see this notably in the relationship between David and Solomon and the building of the temple. The conquest and the process of taking full control had not been complete led from the time of entering the land until the time of David. And while David was fighting and being helped by God to cleanse the land of enemies he desired to build the temple for God. Yet God does not allow him because the victory has not been fully finished.
We see with Solomon though after David finishes his labors and passes the kingdom on to his son, says 1Kings 5:2-4 And Solomon sent word to Hiram, you know that David my father could not build a house for the name of the Lord his God because of the warfare with which his enemies surrounded him, until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet. But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side. There is neither adversary nor misfortune. The point Solomon was making was how can God rest in his temple as the High King over Israel if there remained enemies to battle, and subdue. But now that Israel’s enemies have been subdued, it is fitting and proper for God to sit upon his throne in the holy of holies in the temple over all of his people.
This delay in consummation, delay in building the temple in Israel is reflective of the time in which we find ourselves today. Christ having taken on the cross, enduring the punishment for sin and as a result crushing the head of the serpent has ascended to sit at the right hand of the throne of God, yet the fullness of the consummation has yet to happen. We still live in this age longing for the fullness, for when all the enemies of Christ are made a footstool for his feet as it says in Hebrews 10:13, that Christ by his one perfect sacrifice waiting for his enemies to be made a footstool for his feet. This gives us some insight into the relationship between God the Son and God the Father, as with Israel God reigned over the nations and subdued them in the land of Canaan so that Solomon could reign in peace having rest from his enemies. 1Cor 15 makes this explicit as well in vs. 24-28 Then comes the end when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he (Christ) must reign until God has put all his enemies under his (Christ) feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is accepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him that God may be all in all. We see in this passage that Christ as the true son of God, who has been eternally faithful, has claimed his rightful place over the people of God, yet he remains in subjection to the Father. And the Father is placing every enemy under his feet, subduing them.
What we see also in the relation of the two verses of the Psalm 47 is that the psalmist has brought the perspective of the inauguration with the consummation. The central piece of the psalm is a focus upon God ascending with a shout, the lord with the sound of the trumpet. We live between the two periods of fulfillment as the Father is currently putting enemies in subjection to Christ, and we see this not in a vague sense but in a very real way, as the men, women, and children turn and put their faith in Christ. That is the result of the Father squashing the rebellion of Adam which lies at the core of our nature, reconciling us to himself and turning us into allies under the Lordship of Christ. There is as we have seen in Galatians, a facet of Christianity that goes beneath the surface, where we are not to merely know Christ in name, but to live under him as Lord. Galatians leaves no room for carnal Christians, but rather in light of showing that justification is by faith alone, that those who are justified will be fruitful and display the fruits of the spirit.
Having looked at the psalmists first two reasons for praise, that God is the great king over all the earth, and that he is the one who is subduing his enemies and reigning over all the nations. We turn now to the third reason to praise God, because he chose our heritage for us, the pride of Jacob whom he loves, and the princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham, for the shields of the earth belong to God; he is highly exalted.