Walter Bruggemann has suggested we divide the Psalms into three groups: Psalms of orientation, which voice the hearts of people who are in a good place and for whom things are going well. Psalms of “disorientation,” which voice the hearts of those for whom life has fallen apart. Finally, there are Psalms of “reorientation,” which voice the hearts of those who have come through the darkness of trial with God’s help and once again find life at peace once more.
Psalm 47 is a psalm of “orientation.” For the writer, God is enthroned in his heaven and all is well with the world.
Psalm 47 has a universal quality to it. Though obviously written by an Israelite, who is proud to be one of God’s chosen people, he calls on all the earth to praise the Lord. God is not just the king of Israel, but king over all the earth, reigning over the nations and kings of the earth.
The psalmist calls everyone to praise the Lord, and as Christians, so should we.