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Psalm 97

By Henry Law

      Faith is encouraged to joyfully contemplate Christ's kingdom. It may be hidden from the world; but it is dreadful to all adversaries. Exhortations follow to abound in holy joy.

      1. "The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof."

      The Lord reigns. This is the Gospel's note. It is a truth prolific of holy joy. All events obey His scepter. In every circumstance, therefore, joy should wave its tranquil wand throughout the heart. Every occurrence should whisper, It is the Lord; let Him do what seems good to Him. Events may sometimes show a frowning aspect, but happy believers receive them as blessings in disguise.

      2. "Clouds and darkness are round about Him; righteousness and judgment are the habitation of His throne."

      Faith may not always discern the intent of God's rule. To the ungodly His will is shrouded in impenetrable darkness. They do not know the mighty Ruler. They do not understand the workings of His hand. Solemn lessons are embodied in the word. If they had known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But His throne is established high on the pinnacle of righteousness and justice. All the decrees of His tribunal are offsprings of these attributes, and shine as reflections of His glory. Happy, indeed, are those in whose hearts the Lord God reigns righteously.

      3-6. "A fire goes before Him, and burns up His enemies round about. His lightnings enlightened the world; the earth saw, and trembled. The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. The heavens declare His righteousness, and all the people see His glory."

      Thoughts here recall Sinai's terrors. When the fiery law was promulgated, dreadful manifestations announced that vengeance would destroy opponents. In Christ's kingdom, holy indignation is also against all unrighteousness. Here strong images are employed to show that wrath will scrutinize and rightly execute its tremendous work. Tribulation and anguish must be the rebel's doom. Blessed are those who are delivered from this wrath, and are translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son.

      7-9. "Confounded be all those who serve engraved images, that boast themselves of idols; worship Him, all you gods. Zion heard, and was glad; and the daughters of Judah rejoiced because of Your judgments, O Lord. For You, Lord, are high above all the earth; You are exalted far above all gods."

      Let no fond dream suggest that idolatry is not an abomination in God's sight. Truth has denounced its sure destruction, and destruction will surely come. Let all who hear take warning, and meekly bow before the King of kings. The ear of faith hears God's resolve, and rejoices in the thought that homage and worship shall be rendered to Him to whom it is so justly due.

      10-12. "You who love the Lord, hate evil; He preserves the souls of His saints; He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance o f His holiness."

      Believers are here pointedly described. Their conspicuous feature is love of their Lord. It is a true address, 'O You Whom my soul loves!' He demands our hearts. Let them be His in every pulse, at every moment. The best proof of this love will be hatred of all that is adverse to Him. Those who love Him will nestle in His heart, and His power will screen them from all harm. As seed sown springs from the bosom of the earth, so light and gladness are laid up for the happy flock, and assuredly will be their portion. They have all cause to rejoice, to be glad, and to give thanks. God's holiness frightens the wicked. The thought is terror to them. His servants ponder this attribute with delight. They turn not from the precept, 'Be holy, for I am holy.'

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See Also:
   Psalm 1
   Psalm 2
   Psalm 3
   Psalm 4
   Psalm 5
   Psalm 6
   Psalm 7
   Psalm 8
   Psalm 9
   Psalm 10
   Psalm 11
   Psalm 12
   Psalm 13
   Psalm 14
   Psalm 15
   Psalm 16
   Psalm 17
   Psalm 18
   Psalm 19
   Psalm 20
   Psalm 21
   Psalm 22
   Psalm 23
   Psalm 24
   Psalm 25
   Psalm 26
   Psalm 27
   Psalm 28
   Psalm 29
   Psalm 30
   Psalm 31
   Psalm 32
   Psalm 33
   Psalm 34
   Psalm 35
   Psalm 36
   Psalm 37
   Psalm 38
   Psalm 39
   Psalm 40
   Psalm 41
   Psalm 42
   Psalm 43
   Psalm 44
   Psalm 45
   Psalm 46
   Psalm 47
   Psalm 48
   Psalm 49
   Psalm 50
   Psalm 51
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   Psalm 53
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   Psalm 55
   Psalm 56
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   Psalm 60
   Psalm 61
   Psalm 62
   Psalm 63
   Psalm 64
   Psalm 65
   Psalm 66
   Psalm 67
   Psalm 68
   Psalm 69
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