Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

From Enemies to Heirs

And, oh my, what an inheritance! Psalm 47.3, 4

Ascended and Enthroned (3)

Opening Prayer: Psalm 47.2-4
For the LORD Most High is awesome;
He is a great King over all the earth.
He will subdue the peoples under us,
And the nations under our feet.
He will choose our inheritance for us,
The excellence of Jacob whom He loves.

Sing Psalm 47.2-4
(Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns)
High is the Lord, O, fear His Name! He rules, a King o’er all the earth.
Nations and peoples He has tamed, the heritage of His holy worth.

Read Psalm 47.3, 4

1. What does God promise to do with us?

2. What does He promise to give us?

All who believe in Jesus have two things in common. First, we were at one time the enemies of God (Rom. 5.10). But then He subdued us by His love. Now, second, we have received an inheritance from Him, and it is the most excellent inheritance we could ever want.

From enemies to heirs, all by the electing and saving grace of God (v. 4).

Note how the grace of God works to accomplish this. First, He puts us under His feet – well, under the feet, that is, the rule, of Jesus our King (Ps. 110.1, 2). He does this by using His people as “volunteers” to go out and subdue the enemies of the Lord by the power of His Word and Spirit, the power of the Gospel (Ps. 110.3). Here in our psalm, God promises to subdue all peoples and nations to us as we go in obedience with His Word, just as He subdued us through the witness of His faithful volunteers.

And He has chosen an excellent inheritance for us – Himself (Ps. 16.5). That word, excellent (Hebrew, גָּאוֹן‎, ga’on), is rich with meaning and significance. It indicates exaltation, majesty, magnificence, power, beauty – in short, excellence in all things. And what is the “excellence” God has chosen for His people to inherit? Himself.

But unlike most inheritances, this is one we can begin to enjoy now, if only as a foretaste of the full inheritance we will receive when we see Him face to face (Ps. 17.15; 1 Jn. 3.1-3). We have the Holy Spirit in us as a down payment on the inheritance to come (Eph. 1.13, 14). The more we enjoy our inheritance now, the more we want to share it with others, even with those who, like we once were, are enemies of the Lord today.

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“He will choose our inheritance…” (Ps. 47.4).

In much the same way that we choose a gift to give to a loved one, God chooses our gift for us.

We usually give tangible gifts, but His toward us is without measure.
His gift to us is Himself and His love for us (Jn. 3.16).
His gift is life (Jn. 10.10).
His gift is a present and a future gift (Jer. 29.11).

Not unlike the inheritance that He planned for the Levites is His plan for us:m“You shall have no inheritance in their land, nor shall you have any portion among them; I am your portion and your inheritance among the children of Israel” (Num. 18.20).

The prosperity gospel promoted today is not what our inheritance is about. It is grandiose in spirit, not in earthly goods. As Martin Luther wrote in A Mighty Fortress Is Our God: “Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also; the body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still; His kingdom is forever.”

Asaph, the psalmist, also spoke of this glorious gift: “…God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Ps. 73.26).

And another Psalm speaks of the thanks due for this gift: “You are my portion, O LORD; I have said that I would keep Your words” (Ps. 119.57).

Let us say with Peter: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Pet. 1.3-5).

This is indeed “the most excellent inheritance we could ever want.”

1. What does it mean to you to know that God Himself is your inheritance?

2. In what sense is this a “now” but “not yet” inheritance? Of what does the “now” consist? And the “not yet”?

3. Why should knowing that God is our inheritance move us to want to tell others?

Apply this spiritually; the Lord himself has undertaken to be the inheritance of his people. It shows the faith and submission of the saints. This is the language of every gracious soul: The Lord shall choose my inheritance for me; he knows what is good for me better than I do. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Psalm 47.4

Closing Prayer: Psalm 47.7-9
Pray that God’s Kingdom and rule will come on earth as it is in heaven, and that whole nations and peoples will be drawn to Him through Jesus.

Sing Psalm 47.7-9
(Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns)
God is the King of all the earth, sing praise to Him with glorious psalms!
He rules the nations by His worth, and on His throne receives their alms.

Princes of peoples gather all to Abraham and to our God.
Exalt the Lord, and on Him call – the earth is His, so praise our God!

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to our summary of last week’s study by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore

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