“O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.” Psalm 47:1
I will let the words Matthew Henry wrote so many years ago speak for this verse.
The psalmist, having his own heart filled with great and good thoughts of God, endeavours to engage all about him in the blessed work of praise, as one convinced that God is worthy of all blessing and praise, and as one grieved at his own and others’ backwardness to and barrenness in this work. Observe, in these verses,
I. Who are called upon to praise God: “All you people, all you people of Israel;’’ those were his own subjects, and under his charge, and therefore he will engage them to praise God, for on them he has an influence. Whatever others do, he and his house, he and his people, shall praise the Lord. Or, “All you people and nations of the earth;’’ and so it may be taken as a prophecy of the conversion of the Gentiles and the bringing of them into the church; see Rom. 15:11.
II. What they are called upon to do: “O clap your hands, in token of your own joy and satisfaction in what God has done for you, of your approbation, nay, your admiration, of what God has done in general, and of your indignation against all the enemies of God’s glory, Job 27:23. Clap your hands, as men transported with pleasure, that cannot contain themselves; shout unto God, not to make him hear (his ear is not heavy), but to make all about you hear, and take notice how much you are affected and filled with the works of God. Shout with the voice of triumph in him, and in his power and goodness, that others may join with you in the triumph.’’ Note, Such expressions of pious and devout affections as to some may seem indecent and imprudent ought not to be hastily censured and condemned, much less ridiculed, because, if they come from an upright heart, God will accept the strength of the affection and excuse the weakness of the expressions of it.
O how the Christians of today need to praise the Lord with our lives, our hands and our voices. He is worthy.