It is interesting reading todays passage for reflection – Psalm 47 in light of the G20 summit of world leaders gathering in Brisbane this weekend. I don’t mean anything political by that statement, rather my thoughts are around the extraordinary security lengths that have been undertaken to have these leaders of nations assemble – the Russian armada off the coast, the bullet proof limousines, no fly zones and barricading that has shut down the city of Brisbane the last few days. The aim being to keep the common people (and more specifically any protesters and would be terrorists) well away from them.
There has been a lot of talk in the press about what important issues will and will not be discussed by these leaders – climate change, Ebola, inequality, economics etc. but sadly I am confident in saying there won’t be any talk about God – the great king over all the earth. There may well be those among the leaders gathered who do personally have a faith in God and acknowledge his lordship over their lives but in the scheme of the G20 gathering God fails to get a guernsey or even one of those silly shirts that leaders seem to parade around in at such gatherings.
So whose failing is this? Certainly not God himself! In the time of Solomon leaders from around the world gathered to pay homage to Israel’s God. In 1 Kings 10 we read of Queen of Sheba’s visit to Jerusalem and her response in verse 9.
Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king to maintain justice and righteousness.”
We can be cynical about our world leaders and their failings – it seems they are rarely praised (unless in a regime like North Korea where failure to do so is punishable). Yet as this Psalm loudly proclaims, we have a king over all the nations who is worthy to be praised. One we can approach at any time – no exclusion zones or barricades can ever separate us from him (Romans 8:39).
Pray this paraphrase of the Psalm as a prayer:
Lord I applaud you and your wonders, all the nations of the earth shout to you God with cries of joy.
For you Lord Most High are awesome, the great King over all the earth.
You subdue the hostile nations putting our enemies beneath our feet.
You chose our inheritance for us, the pride of Jacob, whom you loved.
Lord God you ascend amid our shouts of joy, amid the sounding of trumpets.
I sing praises to you God, sing praises; sing praises you my King, sing praises.
For you God are the King of all the earth; I sing to you this psalm of praise.
God you reign over the nations; seated upon your holy throne.
May the leaders of the nation’s assemble as the people of the God of Abraham, they belong to you God; may you always be highly exalted. Amen