Psalm 97

Psalm 97

The Lord Reigns

97   The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice;
    let the many coastlands be glad!
  Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;
    righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
  Fire goes before him
    and burns up his adversaries all around.
  His lightnings light up the world;
    the earth sees and trembles.
  The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
    before the Lord of all the earth.
  The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
    and all the peoples see his glory.
  All worshipers of images are put to shame,
    who make their boast in worthless idols;
    worship him, all you gods!
  Zion hears and is glad,
    and the daughters of Judah rejoice,
    because of your judgments, O LORD.
  For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth;
    you are exalted far above all gods.
  O you who love the LORD, hate evil!
    He preserves the lives of his saints;
    he delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
  Light is sown for the righteous,
    and joy for the upright in heart.
  Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous,
    and give thanks to his holy name!


Psalm 97 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

When we look back at Scripture, we see just how holy God really is. Anyone who came into the fullness of God (or Jesus in His heavenly form) were overwhelmed beyond comprehension.

Wrestling With God
In Genesis 32, Jacob wrestled with a human form of God (many believe this was Jesus) and was overcome.

Genesis 32:25 HCSB  When the man saw that He could not defeat him, He struck Jacob’s hip socket as they wrestled and dislocated his hip.

Seeing God
In Exodus 33, Moses pleaded with God to see His face and God allowed for Him to only see the backside of Him, as Moses would have died had He seen God’s face.

Exodus 33:20-23 HCSB  But He answered, “You cannot see My face, for no one can see Me and live.”  21  The LORD said, “Here is a place near Me. You are to stand on the rock,  22  and when My glory passes by, I will put you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by.  23  Then I will take My hand away, and you will see My back, but My face will not be seen.”

Witnessing the Risen Christ
In Acts 9, Paul witnessed the glory of Christ directly before Him and fell down to the ground with blindness.

Acts 9:3-6 HCSB  As he traveled and was nearing Damascus, a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him.  4  Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”  5  “Who are You, Lord?” he said. “I am Jesus, the One you are persecuting,” He replied.  6  “But get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

A Revelation
While on the island of Patmos, John was caught up in the Spirit when Jesus appeared before him.

Revelation 1:10-11 HCSB  I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard a loud voice behind me like a trumpet  11  saying, “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.” Revelation 1:17-18 HCSB  When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. He laid His right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last,  18  and the Living One. I was dead, but look—I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades.

The glory and holiness of God/Jesus is certainly nothing to underestimate. Often, we do.

“There is a gap between our love for the gospel and our love for godliness… It’s not pietism, legalism, or fundamentalism to take holiness seriously.”

Kevin DeYoung

We tend to celebrate what Christ saved us from much more often than celebrating what He’s called us to. The sacrifice of Jesus was for both grace and truth. It is grace that saves us from sin, but truth that calls us forward into holiness.

You who love the LORD, hate evil! He protects the lives of His godly ones; He rescues them from the power of the wicked.  11  Light dawns for the righteous, gladness for the upright in heart.

Psalms 97:10-11 HCSB

You who love the Lord, hate evil! Yes, He rescues us from the power of the wicked, but He calls us forward into the light where the righteous rejoice in the freedom of holiness. Where have you compromised the holiness of God? Where are you leaning into His grace while neglecting His truth?

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