Dismay Or Delight?
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” Lord, help me to ponder what it means to pray this from my heart.
Read Psalm 97
1 The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad;
let the distant shores rejoice.
2 Clouds and thick darkness surround him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
3 Fire goes before him
and consumes his foes on every side.
4 His lightning lights up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
5 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
before the Lord of all the earth.
6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
and all peoples see his glory.
7 All who worship images are put to shame,
those who boast in idols—
worship him, all you gods!
8 Zion hears and rejoices
and the villages of Judah are glad
because of your judgments, Lord.
9 For you, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth;
you are exalted far above all gods.
10 Let those who love the Lord hate evil,
for he guards the lives of his faithful ones
and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11 Light shines on the righteous
and joy on the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous,
and praise his holy name.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectAs you think about the Lord’s return in glory, what fills your heart: apprehension and fear, or anticipation and hope?
“The Lord reigns” (1). God’s rule extends beyond simply Israel, encompassing even the “distant shores” (1b,5). “Clouds and thick darkness” (2) is Exodus language, echoing the description of God’s revelation at Mount Sinai (Exod. 19:16–19). “Fire” and “lightning” also remind us that God is “a consuming fire” and that the uncompromising holiness of God cannot abide the slightest stain of sin (3,4; Heb. 12:29).
All will see God’s glory, but the response to the manifestation of this awesome presence may be either dismay or delight. In those who have rejected God’s rule, it will inspire fear and shame (3,4,7a). For them, this will be a truly awful moment, for “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31).
To the “righteous,” however, this will be an awe-filled moment, to be welcomed with gladness and joy (8,11). Who are these “righteous”? Not sinless saints, but all who “love the Lord” and have trusted in him (10).
How does the holiness of God influence your words, the way you work, your relationships, your time management?
God, I praise You that You are above all, that You are almighty and awesome. May I live a life that is pleasing to You.
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