PSALM 47—GOD IN CHRIST RULING OVER ALL THE EARTH THROUGH THE CITY
Psalm 47 is a continuation to Psalm 46. In Psalm 46 God is our enjoyment, meeting our needs in the needful hours. Then, Psalm 47 continues by telling us that this very God who meets our needs in the city will be, in Christ, the King over all the earth through the city, the strengthened and enlarged church. Verse 1: “O clap your hands, all ye peoples; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.” When the church is truly enlarged as a city, in which we enjoy God as our everything, we will surely clap our hands. In such a church life, how can we help but shout unto God with the voice of triumph! Christians today remain so silent in their services because they are not in the proper church life, because they do not have God as their enjoyment in their needs, because they are short of God in their experiences through the proper church life.
Verses 2 and 3: “The Lord most high…is a great King over all the earth. He shall subdue the peoples under us, and the nations under our feet.” These are all God’s doings in Christ through the city, the enlarged church. When the church is enlarged as a city, God shall subdue the peoples through the city and rule over all the earth in Christ as a great King. Without such a church it would be difficult for God to accomplish this. It is the church enlarged as a city that will bring the entire earth under God’s authority and kingship in Christ.
Verses 5 through 9: “God is gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding. God reigneth over the nations: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.…He is greatly exalted.” All these marvelous things will take place because God has obtained a city as a base on the earth. The church must be built up as a city that God might have a base on the earth for His move. It is through the strengthened and enlarged church that God in Christ is praised and exalted as the King of all the earth, reigning over all the nations.
PSALM 48—GOD IN THE CLIMACTIC EXPERIENCE OF THE CITY
Now we come to Psalm 48. “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God.” Here we reach the climax of the city. Only in the city, only in the strong and enlarged church, could God be great and greatly praised. Do you think that God could be so great among two or three meeting together in a home? Could God be greatly praised in such a situation? Yes, God will be great, but in a pitiful way. If we would have God greatly manifested, we need a strong church, a city. Two or three persons meeting together are not a city, and you could hardly call them a house. They are a meager group, a poor free-group. How could God be great, and how could God be greatly praised? We need to be a city. We need to be strengthened, enlarged, and built up as a city. Then God’s greatness will be expressed.
Verse 2: “Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.” When the church is strengthened, enlarged, and built up as a city, there is an elevation in the earth. The church is elevated, and that elevation is the beauty of the church. Beautiful in elevation is mount Zion. Such a church, such a city, is the joy of the whole earth. It is in this city that God is the great King, and this great King is God in Christ—Christ Himself. In the house He is the great Father, but in the city He is the great King.
Verse 3: “God is known in her palaces for a high fortress.” The city is the church, and the palaces are the local churches. God is known in all the local churches of the church. If you would know God as a refuge, as a high tower, and as a high fortress, you must be in the local churches.
Verse 4: “For, lo, the kings conspired together, they passed by together.” Why? Because they saw the church, because they saw such a stronghold. Verse 5: “They saw it, and so they were amazed; they were overwhelmed and fled in terror.” Just to look at such a built-up church caused the enemies to flee in terror.
(Christ and the Church Revealed and Typified in the Psalms, Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)