Summary: God’s children are to sometimes worship Him with great enthusiasm and outward joy, to clap their hands to the Lord. And sometimes that worship is about Who God is; sometimes it is about what He has done or is doing. But sometimes it is about what He will
Clap You Hands
1. When a brand new believer, in 1974, my friend loaned his LP Album by Messianic Jewish group "Lamb." When I married Marylu in 1980, I married into Lamb albums.
2. One of the songs was titled, "Clap Your Hands, All Ye People," and was a paraphrase of Psalm 47. Preparing this sermon meant the song has been playing in my head all week.
3. But this Psalm is not only appreciated by Christians and Messianic Jews, it is also an important Psalm in Jewish Religious life, particularly last week’s celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, known to us as The Feast of Trumpets. Rabbi Shmuel writes,
"More than anything else the shofar’s notes mark the solemnity of Rosh Ha-Shanah. In many communities just prior to the sounding of the shofar the words of Psalm 47 are chanted seven straight times. The number seven corresponds to the number of times that the name God (elohim) appears in this psalm. According to some, the number seven also corresponds to the seven levels of heaven that the blasts of the shofar are expected to pierce." RabbiShmuel.com
Jesus returns to the clouds when the trumpet sounds, and thus begins his purging of the earth in preparation for His reign… It is the time spoken of in Psalm 2, when the Son asks the Father for the nations; Jesus patience in asking for the nations is what is holding back the Tribulation and the Antichrist, IMO.
[I had a chart here, with these cubes....
Present Time (from Pentecost on).... Tribulation (7 yrs.)....Millennium (1,000 year reign of Christ on Earth)]
This Psalm is looking back from the Beginning of the Millennium with Christ seated on the throne...
Main Idea: God’s children are to sometimes worship Him with great enthusiasm and outward joy, to clap their hands to the Lord. And sometimes that worship is about Who God is; sometimes it is about what He has done or is doing. But sometimes it is about what He will do (as in the case here).
We are to clap our hands to the Lord in joy for several reasons.
I. Because We Believe God is AWESOME (1-2, 6-9)
We celebrate as Christians as though these events were already in place, because we are that sure of their inevitability… we understand this verse to be celebrating the reign of God on earth when Jesus returns, during the Millennium, with God the Son Himself seated on the throne. We can connect this Psalm to Psalm 2.
A. We are to CLAP in exuberance (1a)
Some Christians are excited about TV shows or movies, sports or politics, decorating or dining, but not the Lord. Some are even excited about their churches, but not the Lord.
A Baptist minister was continually bragging to his other minister friends about the greatness of his church. No matter what they said, he always found a way to claim that the Baptists were better. Eventually his friends got tired of this, and decided to play a prank on the Baptist. One day, they dropped a tablet in his coffee - and soon the Baptist preacher nodded off to sleep. Then they took him down to the cemetery, and laid him in a borrowed coffin, next to a freshly dug grave. They hid behind the bushes to see what would happen. Half an hour later, the Baptist began to wake up. Yawning and looking around him, he began to notice the coffin, the tombstones, and the open grave. Then he shouted: "Amen! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! The day of resurrection has come and the Baptists are the first ones out!" [source: Nathan Johnson, Sermon Central]