|"Shout to God with the voice of triumph..." (Image Pixabay)|
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 47:1-9
TO CHEW ON: "Oh clap your hands all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph!" Psalm 47:1
The word transliterated "clap" (taqa') means to clatter, clang, sound, blow (trumpets), clap, strike. "Its best one-word definition may be 'strike'" says a Word Wealth article in my Bible. It goes on to explain the Israeli usage of the word: "Taqa' describes pitching a tent or fastening a nail, probably due to the striking of the hammer used for both tasks. In other references taqa' describes blowing a trumpet or sounding an alert" - Dick Mills, Word Wealth, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 724.
"Clap" is definitely a noisy word. Why would we respond to God this way? Several facts gleaned from my Bible's notes about how people over the years have viewed this psalm help answer:
This psalm was part of Israel's New Year celebrations. In the words of verse 2: "For the Lord Most High is awesome, / He is a great King over all the earth," they claimed God's rule over the nations in the coming year.
While the Son of Korah writer of this psalm may have been thinking of a literal inheritance of land when he wrote: "He will choose our inheritance for us…" (Psalm 47:4), Paul related this inheritance to Jesus and the inheritance He bought for believers through His death and resurrection - Colossians 1:12-14.
Our hope for the future:
Christians have seen in the words "God has gone up with a shout…" (Psalm 47:5) a prophetic picture of Jesus' ascension. After coming down to accomplish salvation (Philippians 2:6-10), He went up in victory (Acts 1:9-10; Hebrews 12:2). But that's not the end of the story. Someday He will return with shouts and trumpets to take us to be with Him (1 Thessalonians 4:16,17).
Do these things—God's rule, our inheritance, our hope—elicit a reaction in us? As we meditate on these grand truths and celebrate them in our churches, let's not squelch the impulse to respond with a little noise. Applause is definitely in order!
PRAYER: Dear Father, help me to realize anew the magnitude of what You have done in the world and for Me. May these truths never grow old and tired. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.