“The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice;…For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods….Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his name!”
~ Psalm 97:1a,9,12
This psalm continues the theme of psalm 96 by stating that “The LORD reigns”. He is our Creator, our Judge and our King. All of the earth is to rejoice, be glad and give thanks (v.1,12); worshipping him for his glory, his majesty, his beauty, his name, his works and his strength; doing so with fear and trembling.
Verses 2-5 portray an intense and awesome picture of our God. And it does so in language we do not often or quickly use of him. But it is good and true language of who our God is. Because of his glory and majesty, his holiness and power, God veils himself in clouds and thick darkness as a demonstration of his love for us (Exodus 19:9-20). For if he did not, we would be undone (Isaiah 6:5) and consumed (Hebrews 12:29; Deut. 4:24) by who he is in the purity of his very nature. This ‘shrouding’ is not God hiding himself from us, or holding something back from us, but it is his protection and preservation of us. We still see his glory (v.6; Hebrews 1:3a) (and will yet see it more fully one day); he still gives light for the righteous (v.11).
For those of us made righteous by the person and work of Jesus Christ, what are we do in addition to worshipping him? We are to love him and hate evil (v.10). Don’t lose sight my brothers and sisters!