Clap your hands, all you peoples;
shout to God with loud songs of joy.
For the Lord, the Most High, is awesome,
a great king over all the earth.
Psalm 47 v 1-2
Today’s psalm celebrates the kingship of God, not merely over Israel and its people but over the whole earth and all of its peoples. In Jewish tradition this psalm was connected to Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year’s Day) and was accompanied by the blowing of a ram’s horn (shofar). In Christian tradition this psalm has been linked with Christ’s ascension and the new era that we now all live in.
Like most of the peoples of the ancient Near East, Israel’s worship was punctuated with moments of joyful, even exuberant, celebration. Actions such as clapping and shouting were acts of worship that were widely accepted and practiced. So in this Psalm all the people of the world are encouraged to clap, shout and sing loud songs, just like a football crowd might do when the winning goal has been scored. The reason for such great celebration; Yahweh alone is God and King, God is our loving Father, Jesus is our King, the Holy Spirit is our ever present helper and encourager and Jesus has indeed ‘scored the winning goal’ on the cross!
God is for us and loves us. So, even in the most difficult times we can choose to trust God. He will bring us through all that we have to face in this life. With Jesus we are with the winning team.