Coronavirus panic, stock-market worries, threats from Iran and North Korea, national elections, pesticides in our food supply, Washington politics, cancer diagnosis, loss of a job...everywhere we turn there are plenty of reasons to feel anxiety and even outright fear in our hearts. We are bombarded every day with grim, worrisome realities in our world. In the midst of all this we need to remind ourselves where our hope is, where our security lies.
Today’s reading from Psalm 47 helps give us perspective. First, it reminds us that God is the Lord Most High! He is the great King over ALL the earth! (v 2) This is no ordinary king; He is an awesome King, and He reigns over the entire world! There is no one above Him.
Next is a reminder (vs 3-4) to remember all that God did for Israel, His beloved people. He brought them out of slavery in Egypt. He provided for them, led them all the way to the land that He had chosen for them. Remembering what God has done creates a thankful heart; it helps bring perspective on our current concerns and troubles.
The image of God ascending to His throne (vs 5-6) amid shouts of joy and excitement, reminds us to redirect our focus upward to God. “Hey! Let’s not forget who God is! He is King!” When we set our hearts and focus on God, who is seated on His holy throne (v 8), what does it do? It gives us perspective. It gives us praise. (vs 6-7) We can look at world crises around us and even our own personal crises, which seem so distressing, so overwhelming---and we can see them differently. We don’t have to anxiously wring our hands, saying, “what’s going to happen if this or that person is elected, if there is a coronavirus pandemic, if I lose my job…” We obviously do not know what is going to happen. But what we do know with certainty is this---God was, is, and forever will be King. He IS on the throne. If we are His children, we are people of incredible HOPE!