Missiology Through Scripture – Psalm 47:3

“He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet.” – Psalm 47:3

This psalm, by the sons of Korah, celebrates God’s complete reign over all the earth. This is a manifest truth which covers the past, present, and future. God is the cause of victory over the people groups, not the great military of Israel. God’s elect nation has not won countless victories due to their might, or will, or numbers. They have won because God has willed it. Our victories and our defeats are due to God’s total reign, not our efforts or abilities.

As God subdues the nations under our feet he does so for his glory. The nations are not subdued for our pleasure or for us to rule harshly over them. God’s elect are given authority over the nations so we may love them sweetly. The church has dominion over the nations to not subjugate them, but to bring them the grace and mercy of Christ. Duane Garrett said, “Someday, the psalm promises, even the Gentile nations will come and worship the God of Abraham. This has been completely fulfilled in Christ’s church.”[1] This is a great responsibility which the modern Christian church takes too lightly. God has given us the nations with an express purpose, and too many of us are ignoring that responsibility.

It is reckless for the elect of Christ to disregard the obligation we have been given by our sovereign Lord. We would not neglect a child or a dog which has been given to us. Nor should we neglect the nations, which are under our purview. What does it say about us when we abandon the lost? Can we honestly say we love our Father with all our heart if we make a conscious decision not to reach out to the nations which God loves so dearly? The nations await the truth found only in Christ. They await his missionaries.


[1] Duane A. Garrett, “The Poetic and Wisdom Books,” in Holman Concise Bible Commentary, ed. David S. Dockery (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998), 225.