THE LORD REIGNS
Lord, You are higher than the highest.
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[a] on the righteous
and joy on the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous,
and praise his holy name.
a. Psalm 97:11 One Hebrew manuscript and ancient versions (see also 112:4); most Hebrew manuscripts Light is sown
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.
Heaven and earth are full of God’s glory, all creation sings in praise of its almighty Creator, with the heavens declaring His great Majesty.
The psalmist’s exuberant praise and worship of the Lord can barely be contained. His worship of God is buoyant, effervescent, and exuberant. His reference to geological and meteorological elements of nature reveal his personal and passionate adoration. He extols God’s greatness in the presence of clouds and the darkness (2), fire (3), lightning (4), mountains (5) and the heavens (6). All of these conjure up images of power, strength, might, victory, glory, and splendor. Mountains melting like wax at God’s presence invoke the majesty and stature of God. The psalmist further asserts the futile shamefulness of worshipping carved images and idols (7), almost insisting that the images themselves worship the living God. Verse 9 has become an anthem of international renown amongst the Christian community, sung globally in heartfelt worship, adoration, honor, and love of the eternal God.
The psalmist honors worshippers of God as haters of evil (10), with assurance of God’s preservation and deliverance. Those who love and adore the Lord of glory will find that they detest all that is abhorrent to the character, nature, and Word of God (10). The closer you draw to the Lord in worship, the more abhorrent things in opposition to God’s will and nature can appear.
Finally, you are invited to rejoice in the Lord for His gift of imputed righteousness (2 Cor 5:21). Thank God for the honor and privilege of being able to remember His holy name, the magnificent name by which you can approach Him in boldness (Eph 3:12; Heb 4:16).
Read the psalm again slowly, and capture the author’s praise and worship of his Lord.
Lord, we do love You, and we do hate evil. Teach us how to further rejoice in our salvation.
Book and Author Intros
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