To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah. O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.
There is ineffable music in these words, but it is late in life before we are able to hear it so as to understand it; it is late in life before we are able to turn these words into a hymn and to sing it for ourselves: "He shall choose our inheritance for us." It is easy to see and sing in the light and in the day; it is easy to read the score of life's melodies when they are all lyric and rhythmic; but when the great discords rush in and disturb the melody, it is more difficult to sing in the faith that they will constitute its great harmony by-and-bye: that is the frame in which to say, "He shall choose our inheritance for us."
I. The joy of life is to feel the assurance that in any case it is not a scheme of fatalism, a mere reign of law. "He shall choose our inheritance for us;" it is not fate; it is not destiny. The universe is governed, not by infinite chance, but by infinite choice.
II. There is a proof of this; there is a correspondence—the Divine choice proves itself by Divine love. "The excellency of Jacob whom He loved." We are the illustrations of the Father's will, we are the excellency of Jacob whom He loved, and so God is justified daily by the verification of human experience.
III. Take then the Divine consolation in the text: "He shall choose our inheritance for us." The soul respires amidst such serene and invigorating airs; this is the staple truth, the vertebral column, of the book of God. God is the portion, the inheritance, of His people. Let us live in this great faith, in the great and infinite reservations of God.
E. Paxton Hood, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxiii., p. 349.
References: Psalm 47:4.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. i., No. 33; Ibid., Evening by Evening, p. 318; Congregationalist, vol. vii., p. 472.
Psalm 47:7I. The characteristic of united rather than of personal expression of feeling belongs to the earliest hymns introduced into the Christian Church. And in our own devotions it is very important for us to remember the truth embodied in that custom. We are not isolated Christians; we are members of a Christian Church.
II. The great function of hymns in public worship is to bring before our hearts as well as our memories, in an attractive and moving form, the great facts of our holy faith, and also to help us to apply these great facts and doctrines to our own particular wants.
III. Hymns teach a lesson as to the unity of believers. They belong, not to one century or another, not to one Church, or one sect, or one class, or one part alone of the kingdom; but from every section of our fellow-Christians have been found gifted servants of God pouring forth their adoration, their penitence, or their trust in language which is not of a party, but simply Christian.
H. M. Butler, Harrow School Sermons, 2nd series, p. 142.
Reference: Psalm 47:7.—W. G. Horder, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxvi., p. 309.
For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth.
He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet.
He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah.
God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises.
For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.
God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.
The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted.