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God Reigns from His Holy Throne

“God reigns over the peoples; God sits upon his holy throne.”

(Psalm 47:9 {verse 8 in English translations})


The plain theme of God’s lordship and rulership over his creation continues through this verse as we move through the psalm — God is worthy of our praise — he alone is King and Ruler and Sovereign over those who serve him and over his enemies as well. Yet, how is it that God is King over all of the peoples? All of the peoples certainly do not serve him nor do all of the peoples acknowledge his kingship. So how are we to understand this clause.

Though God does not take away our liberty to go here or there or to do this or that, he has created us in such a fashion that we fulfill his design for us individually and in the world. Thus, by God’s providential governance, he orders the events of our lives so to bring about his designs. That means that even the most hardened atheist who rails against God with fist clenched and shaking in the air is still under the Lordship of God’s plan and design. They might not acknowledge Him or recognize Him in their life, but nevertheless he is there. Indeed, there will come a time and a day when they will confess that great truth (Philippians 2:9-11), but the reality is in place even now and has always been in place.

There is another principle that needs to be turned back towards home, and that is our obedience to and submission before the rule of God. God calls us to submit to Him; we tend to do what we want even though at times what we want does not honor Him. And we do it anyway. We, like the atheist, are often guilty of raising our clenched fists against God even if we do so only by our choice of actions. We too are worthy of His judgment. Forgive us, Lord, for we indeed have willfully sinned against you!

And in Christ, there is mercy, there is peace, and there is hope. We need to remind ourselves of these things because in our sin we tend to draw ourselves away from the mercies of God and from his forgiveness. We are not given license to sin in Christ, but when we do sin, we are given forgiveness and praise be to God for that! Our debt has been paid by Jesus Christ, loved ones, let us live like it and live in a way that seeks consistently to honor the one who sacrificed so much for us and now who sits exalted on his throne on high. Our God does indeed reign from his Holy throne; let us live like it.

Rejoice the Lord is King!

“God has gone up with a shout of jubilation; Yahweh with the voice of a shofar.”

(Psalm 47:6 {verse 5 in English Translations})


God has indeed ascended to his throne for he is the true King over Israel and Ruler over all creation. And, just as we find such language here we should not be surprised when we see similar language in the New Testament that speaks of Christ’s exaltation and his enthronement at the right hand of God the Father almighty (see Ephesians 1:20; Hebrews 1:3; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2; 1 Peter 3:22). He indeed has “gone up.” The term itself that is employed by the psalmist, hDlDo (alah) reflects the context of worship. With humans it reflects the idea of going up to Jerusalem or to the high places to make a sacrifice — for God it means to his holy Temple and to his throne in Heaven. It is language that must be accompanied by jubilation — and that is exactly what takes place. Not only are there shout of jubilant worship, but there is also the playing of the shofar — the trumpet made from a ram’s horn — which again implies a context of worship in the temple of God.

The verses that follow will be verses of praise and adoration that flow naturally from the lips of the psalmist. Sadly, I wonder how naturally they fall from our own lips. I wonder how naturally they flow out of our own lives. May our words and actions be consistent with this psalm. May our heart rejoice in the knowledge that God is our king and that he will rule our lives (whether we like it or not!). And may we rejoice in the rule of our king, ordering our days through good times and through trials to his glory and praise (it is not about us anyway!).

Rejoice, the Lord is King! Your Lord and King adore;

Mortals give thanks and sing, and triumph evermore;

Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;

Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

-Charles Wesley