Psalm 47:4

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 4. While as yet we see not all things put under him, we are glad to put ourselves and our fortunes at his disposal. He shall choose our inheritance for us. We feel his reign to be so gracious that we even now ask to be in the fullest degree the subjects of it. We submit our will, our choice, our desire, wholly to him. Our heritage here and hereafter we leave to him, let him do with us as seemeth him good. The excellency of Jacob whom he loved. He gave his ancient people their portion, he will give us ours, and we ask nothing better; this is the most spiritual and real manner of clapping our hands because of his sovereignty, namely, to leave all our affairs in his hands, for then our hands are empty of all care for self, and free to be used in his honour. He was the boast and glory of Israel, he is and shall be ours. He loved his people and became their greatest glory; he loves us, and he shall be our exceeding joy. As for the latter days, we ask nothing better than to stand in our appointed lot, for if we have but a portion in our Lord Jesus, it is enough for our largest desires. Our beauty, our boast, our best treasure, lies in having such a God to trust in, such a God to love us. Selah. Yes, pause, ye faithful songsters. Here is abundant room for holy meditation --

"Muse awhile, obedient thought,
Lo, the theme's with rapture fraught;
See thy King, whose realm extends
Even to earth's remotest ends.
Gladly shall the nations own
Him their God and Lord alone;
Clap their hands with holy mirth,
Hail him MONARCH OF THE EARTH.
Come, my soul, before him bow,
Gladdest of his subjects thou;
Leave thy portion to his choice,
In his sovereign will rejoice,
This thy purest, deepest bliss,
He is thine and thou art his."

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 4. He shall choose. Futures are variously rendered; and accordingly the vulgar Latin, Syriac, and Arabic, render this word, He hath chosen. Matthew Poole.

Verse 4. He shall choose our inheritance for us. It is reported of a woman who, being sick, was asked whether she was willing to live or die; she answered, "Which God pleases." But, said one, if God should refer it to you, which would you choose? "Truly," replied she, "I would refer it to him again." Thus that man obtains his will of God, whose will is subjected to God. We are not to be troubled that we have no more from God, but we are to be troubled that we do no more for God. Christians, if the Lord be well pleased with your persons, should not you be well pleased with your conditions? There is more reason that you should be pleased with them, than that he should be pleased with you. Believers should be like sheep, which change their pastures at the will of the shepherd; or like vessels in a house, which stand to be filled or emptied at the pleasure of their owner. He that sails upon the sea of this world in his own bottom, will sink at last into a bottomless ocean. Never were any their own carvers, but they were sure to cut their own fingers. William Secker.

Verse 4. He shall choose our inheritance for us, means that he who knows what is better for us than ourselves, hath chosen, that is, hath appointed, and that of his own good will and mercy towards us, our inheritance; not only things meet for this life, as lands, and houses, and possessions, etc., but even all other things concerning the hope of a better life, to wit, a kingdom that cannot be shaken, an everlasting habitation, and inheritance which is immortal and undefiled, and fadeth not away, reserved for us in heaven. John Boys.

Verse 4. The excellency (or glory) of Jacob, whom he loved; that is, even all those excellent things that he gave and promised to Jacob, wherein he might glory and rejoice. The faithful mean, that they had as great, both abundance and assurance of God's grace and goodness, as ever Jacob had. Thomas Wilcocks.

Verse 4. It may be thou art godly and poor. It is well; but canst thou tell whether, if thou wert not poor, thou wouldst be godly? Surely God knows us better than we ourselves do, and therefore can best fit the estate to the person. Giles Fletcher.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 1-4. Joy the true spirit of worship.

  1. Joy in God's character.
  2. In his reign.
  3. In the triumphs of his gospel.
  4. In his favour to his saints.

Verse 4. This comprehends time and eternity. It is a matter of fact, of holy acquiescence, of desire, of thankfulness.

Verse 4.

  1. God is willing to choose our inheritance for us in time and eternity.
  2. His choice is better than ours -- the excellency of Jacob.
  3. He will leave us to the consequences of our own choice.
  4. He will help us in obtaining that which he chooses for us. G. R.