“Shout to God with the voice of joy. For the Lord Most High is to be feared, a great King over all the earth.” Psalm 47:1b-2
Question: Are you happy that God is King?
Or do you fret with a fearful, stubborn, adamant resistance against God’s rule?
What can turn our fretting to joy?
Our generation interprets the phrase “high and lifted up” as a posture of power, as a coercive tyranny. We resent the very idea.
But Jesus made “high and lifted up” a posture of weakness. He said, “ And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men to Myself.” (John 12:32) He pointed to His crucifixiion.
The historical precedent for Psalm 47 is 2 Samuel 6:12ff. The time has come for David to bring the Ark of God’s Covenant into the citadel of Jerusalem. So every six steps David offers sacrifices . The crowd is shouting and the trumpets are blaring and David is dancing. For David, God Himself was ascending to His rightful throne, surrounded by His people’s praise.
Contrast Jesus ascent to the cross. Every step of the way (Was it the same roadway?) was agony and blood for Jesus and in the end, the cross. He understood that it was the only way stubborn rebels become celebrating servants!
Our wills must be subdued by Christ’s ascension to the Cross, before they will celebrate Christ’s ascension to the throne.
How does Christ’s ascension to the cross subdue our resistant wills?
- by Jesus’ obedient love for God the Father on behalf of those who reject Him. His submission won ours. (Philippians 2:5-8)
- by the gravity of our sins. The cross shows us how big our sin problem is by showing us the value of the Sacrifice for sin. Stubbornness requires self-justification. The cross annihilates self-trust.
- by the promises of love and glory. Ultimately we cannot resist the tital wave of grace poured out for sinners on the cross. 1 Peter 2:24 says –
“He Himself bore our sins in his body on the cross so that we may die to sin and live to righteousness. For by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.”
Now that’s a King we can celebrate!