God is in Charge
Key Verse: “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.”
THIS PSALM, IN MOSTLY symbolic language, serves as a reminder to all who reverence God that he is in charge of the entire earth. This is comforting to know, especially in the times of uncertainty in which we live today. The troubles of the world, be they political instability, economic uncertainty, threats of war and terrorism, social upheavals, religious intolerance, the global environment, or seemingly endless natural disasters, beg the question, “Who is in charge?”
In one sense, it is correct to say that Satan, the great Adversary, is the ruler of this “present evil world.” (Gal. 1:4) Jesus himself spoke of Satan as “the prince of this world” (John 12:31), and the Apostle Paul spoke of him as “the prince of the power of the air.” (Eph. 2:2) Certainly it is true that all the evil, suffering, and dying in this world, both now and in the past, is the result of Satan’s work, not God’s. It was he, not God, whose deceit and corruption of mind influenced our first parents to sin, thus plunging them and their posterity into an ongoing cycle of sin, suffering, trial, and death. It might seem from all this that it is Satan who is ‘in charge’ of this earth rather than God. However, such is not the case.
God, in his great wisdom, has allowed Satan to have a measure of power since Adam’s fall, this for the purpose of teaching man, through his experience with sin, that sin “might become exceeding sinful.” (Rom. 7:13) God purposes that man, through this long experience with sin, will learn fully and completely of its awful results. Having done this, God further purposes that all mankind will be raised from the dead, and given another opportunity for life, this time without the influence of Satan, for he will be bound and powerless. (Rev. 20:2) This will be the time of Christ’s thousand-year kingdom (vs. 6). God will be in charge through the auspices of his son, Christ Jesus, and his bride, the church. They will be the great mediator and high priest of that kingdom, teaching and uplifting the rest of mankind back to the former state of holiness and perfection which Adam enjoyed in the Garden of Eden before he sinned.
The Key Verses of our lesson encourage us to sing praises to God, our king, and to do so ‘with understanding.’ It is the understanding of God’s great plan of salvation for all mankind, as described above, which causes such praise to be rendered. Verse 8 states that “God reigneth over the heathen.” Truly God must have, as his purpose, to uplift, help, and educate even the heathen in this coming kingdom, else there would be no reason for him to reign over them. In fact, it is the very purpose of his reign over them to bring them into covenant relationship with him. God “will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”—I Tim. 2:4
The last verse of this psalm indicates that in this coming kingdom of Christ, which God is in charge of, there will be “princes of the people … gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham.” (vs. 9) These will be the faithful ones of old—Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and others—who were full of faith as Abraham was. They will be the earthly representatives of Christ, and will teach and assist mankind as they learn righteousness. They also will serve under the direction of God. Thus, in all things “he [God] is greatly exalted.”—Ps. 47:9