Psalms 97:1

 

The Bible says in Psalm 97:1, “The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.” This verse gives one of the many reasons to praise God: “The LORD reigneth.” The Lord is in control. The Lord decides what will be the outcome of every human endeavor. The Lord is responsible for the earth. The earth and everyone in it belongs to Him. Every government, every leader, and every country belong to Him. He decides their fate. He raises up and cats down. Jesus is the King of kings. That should bring us great comfort, take away all fear, and instill confidence in every believer. What a joy to know this truth.

 

The Bible says in Psalm 97:2, “Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.” ”Clouds and darkness” represent the fact that God hides Himself. We cannot see Him. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who see without believing.” Every time that someone believes on Jesus without seeing Him, a miracle takes place. Although, God can make His presence so real that it is  almost as though we see Him when He saves our soul. Think about how wonderful it will be when we do get to see Him in heaven. That will be astounding. But until we see Him, there are many evidences of His existence: “righteousness and judgment” are mentioned in verse two. God will always do the right thing, and we see that in the world around us. Even with all the evil that some people do, sometimes God overrides what is going on and effectively says, “Not this time. I am going to make a good thing happen. I am going to make the truth come out.” We see the same thing with judgment. No one will escape God’s final judgment. And in this world God judges who He will and when He will. That is why Christians should not judge anyone. That is God’s job, and He does it very well. You can escape God’s judgment if you repent of your sins and turn to Christ.

 

The Bible says in Psalm 97:3, “A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about.”   This is a vivid picture of the fact that Go brings His judgment when He wants to bring His judgment, and He does bring it. His judgment is called fire because that is what hell will be: eternal fire. If I were you, I would seek to escape the fires of hell by repenting of your sins and turning to the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

The Bible says in Psalm 97:4-6, “His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled.[5] The hills melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.[6] The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.” The powerful forces of nature were created by God, and God controls them, and God uses them. We live in an amazingly beautiful world with great displays of power and might. Lightening is a great flash of electrical power that in an instant can bring light to the darkness, and can also destroy. Sometimes a person’s life is touched like a bolt of lightening out of heaven. That is the reason for dramatic conversions to Christ. The “presence of the LORD” can do anything. Everything that God is doing is for this reason: so that all the people of the earth will “see his glory.” If you are in the blindness of the darkness of the world, it will take a flash of light from heaven for you to see. Jesus is the Light.

 

The Bible says in Psalm 97:7, “Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods.” If you do not turn to the Lord, then you will be “confounded.” You will be confused. You will know only error and falsehood. Interesting that the last part of verse seven says, “worship him, all ye gods.” Of course, there are no other gods, but if there were, they would be commanded to worship the LORD too. We are all headed towards the day when we will be bowed in the presence of the Lord Jesus. The demons will be there too before they are cast into hell. The book of Romans quotes from the book of Isaiah and says in Romans 14:11, “For it is written, as I live, saith the LORD, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”

 

The Bible says in Psalm 97:8, “Zion heard and was glad; and the daughters of Judah rejoiced because of thy judgments, O LORD.” What did Zion hear? They heard that the LORD is Judge. Where did they hear that important truth? They heard it from the Word of God and from other believers. One of the many advantages of being a child of God is that we know that God is Judge. He will decide everything. He will make the right decision and the good decision. He is God and there is none else.

 

The Bible says in Psalm 97:9, “For thou, LORD, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods.” This is a verse that honors God for who He is: His majesty, His glory, His love, His power, His eternal existence, His knowledge. Because He is above everything and everyone, He deserves our worship. Because He is above everything and everyone, we are comforted knowing that He will decide and He will intervene in His way and in His time.

 

The Bible says in Psalm 97:10, “Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.” Until God does His final judgment and until each of us is taken off the earth, there is something for us to do. Actually, there are two things for us to do. The first is to love God. If you know that Jesus died for you out of His great eternal love for you, then surely you love Him back. If you do love Him, then this is the second thing for you to do according to verse ten above: “hate evil.” One of the reasons that Jesus saved our souls is so that we would become the human beings that He wants us to be. Are you improving your life? Are you making it better? One good start to that is to “hate evil.” There is evil in the world. There is evil that can come out of your own heart. Your job is to love God and hate evil. If you are truly saved, you did not get saved by faith in Christ just to stay out of hell, but you also got saved in order to follow Jesus and serve Him in this life. What does God want you to do? He wants you to do the right. Make decisions based upon what is right, not what is profitable. Do right until the stars fall. That is God’s will. That is what He does.

 

The second phrase of verse ten tells us perhaps the most important benefit of being a true believer in Jesus: “he preserveth the souls of his saints.” Once you get saved by putting your faith in the Lord Jesus, you will end up in heaven. That is called eternal security. It is expressed in many ways all through the Bible. Jesus said that we are in His hands and in the Father’s hands, and no one can pluck us out. That means that you cannot pluck yourself out either. We are told very clearly that we are saved by grace through faith, not of works, in Ephesians chapter two. One of the reasons for good works is not to help save your soul, but to give you rewards when you get to heaven. First Corinthians 3:11-15 makes that very clear. It says in verses fourteen and fifteen, “If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.[15] If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” You receive eternal life the moment that you believe on Jesus. Your eternal life starts the moment that you believe on Jesus. How long does eternal life last? It lasts forever. Once you have eternal life, that life lats forever and you will never perish. That is the grace of God because of the blood of Christ.   

 

Until we get to heaven, we are in a world of spiritual opposition where people who are wicked are a danger to us. How can we be protected in such a world: by the Almighty God. Once you believe on Jesus and start following Him, God has a plan for your life. You will live as long as God wants to use you on this earth. Live your life to the fullest and do not fear. God will give you wisdom and will guide through the maze of life and the dangers of life until God is ready for you to come up to heaven. It promises at the end of Psalm 97:10, “he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. 

 

The Bible says in Psalm 97:11, “Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.” What do believers have that the unbelievers do not have? We have forgiveness of sins and eternal life. We also have two things mentioned in this verse: light and gladness. We have light because we have seen the Light of Christ. We have light because we have the Spirit of God to show us the way in a dark world. We have light because we have the Word of God which gives to us such a sure foundation of truth. And we have gladness. Is there any greater joy than to know that the LORD loves you, that your sins are forgiven through Christ, and that you have a home in heaven that awaits you? One of the fruits of the Spirit is “joy.” Notice that this gladness is promised to “the upright in heart.” Do the right thing because it will bring you joy and gladness. Sin and it will bring you sorrow and regret. The entertainment industry is often lying. Alcohol, and drugs, and lust, and a wild life style do not bring happiness: they bring destruction and regret and sorrow in heavy measure.   

 

The Bible says in Psalm 97:12, “Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.” That are many things for which each of us have to be thankful. There is a great gospel song that starts out: “Count your blessings, name them one by one.” Verse twelve tells us to “give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.” One of the big problems that any Christian can have is to look too much at people, and then react the wrong way. People are sinners. People fail. People make mistakes. People say things that they should not say. That is reality. Why should reality bother you so much? Put your eyes on the Lord and you will not find any mistakes. Only God is perfect. Only Jesus obeyed the whole law without fail. We can be thankful to the Lord that there is goodness and there is holiness. He is holy.   

 

 

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Copyright; 2019 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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