The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.
2 Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.
3 A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about.
4 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.
7 Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods.
8 Zion heard, and was glad; and the daughters of Judah rejoiced because of thy judgments, O Lord.
9 For thou, Lord, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods.
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.
11 Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
Rejoice! Rejoice! And again I say rejoice!
Psalm 97 opens with an invitation for nature to rejoice because God reigns. It concludes with a directive for the righteous to rejoice and praise God’s name. This celebratory psalm lauds God’s character as a ruler, enjoining both nature and people to rejoice in God’s justice and protection. Let the waves sing His praises! Let the heavens declare His glory!
Why rejoice? Unlike human despots and dictators, God is a benevolent Sovereign. Righteousness and justice underpin His kingdom. His rulings always bring joyous relief to His beloved, whom He guards and delivers from Satan’s snares. The source of all good gifts, God sheds light and joy on the righteous.
Surrounded by injustice and cruelty on the news and in their homes, people’s hearts crave compassion, integrity, and justice. Countless suffer unspeakable horrors. We yearn for a world where righteousness reigns and justice vanquishes, where the powerful are kind and the vulnerable are protected.
Struggling in today’s chaotic world? Does your heart bear innumerable unmerited scars? Fear not; malicious unkindness and injustice is temporary. Our Sovereign God is returning to rectify all wrongs and heal all wounds. It won’t be long now.
Chaplain (currently disabled) Eugene, Oregon USA