Book #2: 42-72
This Psalm anticipates and celebrates the reign of Christ during the Millennium.
Psalm 47:1-4-The clapping of hands is a way to show that we recognize and honor God. God is in control of all the earth and He chooses whom He will bless and honor.
Psalm 47:5-9-To Christians and Jews, who are both monotheistic (believe that is only one God)…this Psalm is beautiful and inspiring…but we miss much of its intent. During the lifetime of this psalmist, virtually all other nations were polytheistic (believing that there were many gods). Sometimes a nation would worship a single god or several gods, but they believed that other nations had gods of their own. In times of war…a victory identified which nation worshipped the most powerful god. Here, the Psalmist is saying that the God of the Jews was supreme. He wasn’t agreeing that there were other gods…but was making the statement that the God of the Jews was sovereign and ruled over all of creation.
Psalm 48:1-3-God is to be praised in Jerusalem. It is variously referred to here as “the city of our God”, “His holy mountain”, “Mount Zion”, and “The city of the great King”. In the religious teachings of the heathen (non-Jews) it was taught that their gods lived “in the far north”. So here, the author is using a term that they would recognize as the dwelling place of God and saying that it is the Jewish God Who lives there.
Psalm 48:4-10-All the kings of the earth recognize the power of the King of Jerusalem. His fame extends to the very ends of the earth.
Psalm 48:11-14-The beauty of Jerusalem is a testament to God’s rule.
Psalm 49:1-4-The author tells the people to listen closely because he is about to impart wisdom to them.
This psalm is a sermon, and so is the next. In most of the psalms we have the penman praying or praising; in these we have him preaching; and it is our duty, in singing psalms, to teach and admonish ourselves and one another. The scope and design of this discourse is to convince the men of this world of their sin and folly in setting their hearts upon the things of this world, and so to persuade them to seek the things of a better world; as also to comfort the people of God, in reference to their own troubles and the grief that arises from the prosperity of the wicked.
Matthew Henry :: Commentary on Psalms 49, https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/mhc/Psa/Psa_049.cfm?a=527005
Psalm 49:5-20-The psalmist poses a question. Why should he (the righteous man) be afraid “in days of adversity” (meaning when he is old)…when “the iniquity of my foes surround me” (the harmful attitudes of his enemies surround him)? In the end, when they die, they are no better off than he is because though they are rich they cannot buy their way out of judgment (:8-9). This is not only true of the rich but it is also true of the wise and the stupid (:10). People look at this world and all they possess and they tend to think that this is all that there is (:11). They forget that the things of this world will come to an end (:12). This is the way that foolish people think (:13). Their desire for worldly possessions leads them to death and Hell like sheep being led by a shepherd (:14a). Eventually, the tables will be turned and the righteous man will be in charge (:14b). The Psalmist is confident that God will redeem him from death (:15). So, don’t envy those who have riches now because those riches cannot redeem them (:16-17). He may trust in his riches during this life and take pleasure in the good things that others say about him. But ultimately, he will die and those riches will do him no good. In that sense, he is no better off than an animal (:20).
Prayer: God, You alone are God…and there is no other. Everything that exists is the result of Your creation. Help me to always give You praise that is worthy of You and that expresses the glory due to Your nature.