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Psalm 97

The Glory of God’s Reign

1

The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice;

let the many coastlands be glad!

2

Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;

righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.

3

Fire goes before him,

and consumes his adversaries on every side.

4

His lightnings light 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 the peoples behold his glory.

7

All worshipers of images are put to shame,

those who make their boast in worthless idols;

all gods bow down before him.

8

Zion hears and is glad,

and the towns of Judah rejoice,

because of your judgments, O God.

9

For you, O Lord, are most high over all the earth;

you are exalted far above all gods.

 

10

The Lord loves those who hate evil;

he guards the lives of his faithful;

he rescues them from the hand of the wicked.

11

Light dawns for the righteous,

and joy for the upright in heart.

12

Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous,

and give thanks to his holy name!


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Ps 97:1-12. The writer celebrates the Lord's dominion over nations and nature, describes its effect on foes and friends, and exhorts and encourages the latter.

1, 2. This dominion is a cause of joy, because, even though our minds are oppressed with terror before the throne of the King of kings (Ex 19:16; De 5:22), we know it is based on righteous principles and judgments which are according to truth.

3-5. The attending illustrations of God's awful justice on enemies (Ps 83:14) are seen in the disclosures of His almighty power on the elements of nature (compare Ps 46:2; 77:17; Hab 3:6, &c.).

6. heavens—or, their inhabitants (Ps 50:6), as opposed to "nations" in the latter clause (compare Isa 40:5; 66:18).

7. Idolaters are utterly put to shame, for if angels must worship Him, how much more those who worshipped them.

all ye gods—literally, "all ye angels" (Ps 8:5; 138:1; Heb 1:6; 2:7). Paul quotes, not as a prophecy, but as language used in regard to the Lord Jehovah, who in the Old Testament theophania is the second person of the Godhead.

8, 9. The exaltation of Zion's king is joy to the righteous and sorrow to the wicked.

daughters of Judah—(Compare Ps 48:11).

9. above all gods—(Ps 95:3).

10-12. Let gratitude for the blessings of providence and grace incite saints (Ps 4:3) to holy living. Spiritual blessings are in store, represented by light (Ps 27:1) and gladness.

11. sown—to spring forth abundantly for such, who alone can and well may rejoice in the holy government of their sovereign Lord (compare Ps 30:4; 32:11).




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