The LORD Most High is awesome, the great King over all the earth.
Like all people, the ancient Greeks mused about the “best possible government.” Known as the originators of democracy, their great philosopher Plato believed the best possible government would be led by a philosopher king. Plato wrote that if an ideal city–state was to ever come into being, “philosophers must become kings … or those now called kings [must truly] philosophize.”
Psalm 47 describes God governing his world as the ultimate Philosopher King, whose reign unites wisdom and power. God is no roving military dictator, but neither does he campaign for votes like a candidate running for office. God relates to you, to me, and to every nation as “the Great King over all the earth.”
This image of God’s kingship saturates the psalms. Ancient kings held ultimate judging power. That power was easily perverted for selfish ends. But when God makes and keeps promises, he acts as a king who keeps treaties (covenants) with his people.
Few psalms are as enthusiastic as this: “Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.” Imagine a procession led by God with crowds shouting “Long live the king!” Centuries later that vision was realized. The true King came to Jerusalem, riding a donkey as the people shouted “Hosanna! [Save us!]” (Mark 11:9). And today we know he is the one and only Savior.
Father, we thank you for being our one true King. You are the Lord Most High, King over all the earth. We rejoice in you, O God, our Savior! In your name we pray. Amen
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