It is interesting to note that these two psalms share a similar message of God's sovereign majesty and control in the affairs of the world. Yet, each Psalm has a different application for responding to that truth. In Psalm 46:10, God tells us to "Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 47:1, 6 tell us to "…Clap your hands… shout unto God with a voice of triumph… sing praises to God… sing praises unto our King." In both cases there are challenging situations going on in life / in the world. In both cases we are directed away from fear, worry, and anxiety. It should be clear that, before we can do what Psalm 47 says, we need to first practice the prescription found in Psalm 46. Let's examine this.
Be Still - Psalm 46
Behold your God - Psalm 46:1.
- God is a refuge (a shelter, a safe place of protection).
- God is our source of strength (physically, morally, and spiritually - i.e. our inner man / morale).
- God is very present - not near or quick to arrive. His grace is ever-present, even as His name "Jehovah / Yahweh" implies - "…I Am that I Am…" (Exodus 3:13-15; 6:2-3) cp. "… My grace is sufficient for you…" (II Corinthians 12:9). Not "… My grace will be sufficient…"
Resist fear - Psalm 46:2-3.
- Even if the planet was destroyed
- Even if there are earthquakes
- Even if the mountains were picked up and thrown into the sea.
Seek heavenly perspective and help - Psalm 46:4-5.
Help coming from God's throne is described as a river (cp. Isaiah 48:17-18; 66:12a; John 7:37-39; Hebrews 4:14-16; Revelation 21:1-7; 22:1-2)
- Life-giving supply
Behold the threats of man and know that you are never forsaken - Psalm 46:6-9.
- Man intends. God superintends!
- Man's desolations produce chaos. God's desolations produce peace!
- Man tries to have his say now. God will have the final word! (Note the prophetic nature of these verses. See Psalm 1; Psalm 2; and Psalm 37)
Remember His Presence, His Power, and His Promise - Psalm 46:10-11.
We must learn to quiet ourselves within by focusing on the greatness, goodness, and graciousness of God.
See Psalm 31:19-24; Proverbs 18:10; Psalm 20:1-9; 27:1-14; 37:1-11; 91:1-16; 121;1-8; Isaiah 26:3; 40:31.
- God has a plan. No one will alter or overthrow His plan!
- God's plan includes a benevolent outcome for His people!
- God's plan has a man. Through Christ we are more than conquerors! See Jeremiah 29:11; John 16:33; Romans 8:28-39.
Celebrate & Worship - Psalm 47
If the Christian life is not celebrated, it will not be lived. The peace which we receive in our hearts and minds should be transformed into demonstrative expressions of encouraging, faithful testimony and praise (Psalm 145:1-7).
Celebrate the King who shall bring all earthly rule and authority into submission - Psalm 47:1-4.
Celebrate the King who will come with a shout and with a trumpet - Psalm 47:5-6.
Note the Lord's coming and our being gathered together with Him is identified with the language of Psalm 47:5 (I Corinthians 15:51,52; I Thessalonians 4:16 cp. Revelation 4:1).
Celebrate the King who gives us understanding, holiness, and peace - Psalm 47:7-9.
All the events of our life and of the affairs of men in this world must be handled with a faithful spirit. We must guard our hearts and minds with faithful thoughts. For God is in control. He has no equal. All things are happening within His great plan, according to all His wisdom and power. We are forever His and He is forever ours!
See Matthew 5:3-16; 25:31-46; James 1:2-8; 5:13; Romans 11:33-36; Philippians 4:4-9; II Timothy 1:7; I Corinthians 15:51-58; I Thessalonians 4:13 - 5:11; I Timothy 1:17; 6:6-16.