Psalm 97 Commentary

Psalm 97 Commentary

The LORD’s Power and Dominion

We see nothing but the terror of evil. Ungodliness is on the increase. Satan seems to have a free lane. Yet Psalm 97 declares the LORD reigns. Consequently, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice.

How do you reconcile the two conflicting facts? The terror of abominable evil should terrify, sadden, and worry the saint. The danger is real and present. But the thought that the LORD reigns in the present should make the same saint glad.

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne. So profound! Given the fact that the LORD reigns in the present, is there any chance that evil can exist under God’s throne? What is more? Fire goes before Him destroying His enemies on every side. Mountains melt like wax before the LORD. His lightning lights up the world.

Is this what the saint has seen and experienced?

The scripture is unfolding a complex picture of God’s reign. It is in the past but also in the present. It is in the future but also happening right now.

We can ask again. Where is the fire? God’s enemies are still very much around. But we are often wrong about the definition and probably also the description of God’s enemies. Many are simply prodigal sons who must find their way back to the palace. Many are sons and daughters lost in their sinfulness who must hear their Father’s call. The saint must deliver the LORD’s goodwill message to the lost.

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1 verse 14.

In the LORD Jesus Christ, we find the fulfillment of the visuals presented in this psalm. Remember how He baptizes with fire. All these images beautifully converge and are completed at Calvary. But because the Word is from before the beginning, and because the Word is the final act in the Book of Revelation, we find all the tenses in use. Simply put, the LORD reigns.

In the meantime, let the saint hate evil. But let the saint also rejoice because the LORD reigns. There is more. The LORD guards the lives of His faithful ones. He also delivers them from the hand of the wicked. Hallelujah!

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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