For You are the LORD Most High over all the earth; You are exalted far above all gods.Psalm 97:9(NASB)
Much is written in the Book of Psalms which acknowledges the glory of God. Many of these canticles proclaim the greatness of God's power and give honour and glory to His holy name. Psalm 97 is a worshipful song that emphasises God's glory, together with His holiness, His eternal righteousness, His blameless justice, and His sovereign authority, but it also speaks of His awesome judgement and justified wrath.
In this particular psalm, those of us Who love the Lord are reminded that our God is far above all and elevated above all the 'gods'. Fallen men may foolishly honour some created entity, but God alone is the sovereign Lord of heaven and earth. The heavens proclaim His righteousness and the earth shows forth His handiwork. The peoples see His glory, the mountains melt like wax in His presence, clouds and thick darkness surround Him, while righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.
There is nothing to compare with our God, and we are summoned to rejoice in His omnipotence. Our joy in the Lord is not to be based on fear but out of love for all that He has done for us. We are to rejoice in the Lord and be glad in Him, and verse 9 proclaims the eternal truth: "You are the LORD Most High over all the earth. You are exalted far above all gods."
Today, the Lord Jesus Christ is seated on His Father's throne in heaven. He is acting as our risen, ascended, glorified High Priest. He is continually interceding for His Church and has become our holy, heavenly Mediator before our God and Father. Today, the enemy is like a roaring lion who is prowling around, accusing the saints, and seeking to destroy the faith of all those who have trusted Christ for the forgiveness of sins.
But a day is coming when the Lord Jesus will return to take up His ruling position on earth and establish His authority on the throne of His father, David, and the opening verse of Psalm 97 is anticipating that day when Christ returns to claim His rightful position as King of kings and Lord of lords. It speaks of that glorious day when Christ will return to govern the world. The earth that was groaning under the weight of sin will be glad on that day. The distant islands will be joyful because the long-awaited Millennial rule of Christ will have arrived. He will judge the world with equity and truth. He will place all His adversaries under His feet. He will rule the nations with a rod of iron, but He will rule in righteousness and peace, and there will be worldwide rejoicing when Jesus Christ returns to set up His Millennial Kingdom on earth.
Although the return of Christ is the blessed hope of all who believe on His name (first, to rapture the Church and then, to return in power and great glory as earth's rightful King), the psalmist reminds us, in verse 2, that the establishment of the long-awaited Millennial Kingdom will be accompanied by the awesome judgement of the wicked: "Clouds and thick darkness surround Him - righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne."
The return of Christ is thrilling for those who believe, but for those who reject God's offer of salvation, it is a time of awesome judgement when God's justified wrath must be poured out, in fullest measure, on a God-hating, Christ-rejecting, sinful world. The contrast between the rejoicing righteous and the condemned sinner is heightened by the rolling clouds and thick darkness of God's consuming judgement, for He is the Most High Lord over all the heart and He is exalted above all gods.
Time is short. The return of the Lord is imminent. Let us tell forth the glory of His name, the wonderful works that He has done, and the great salvation that is offered freely to all who believe. And let us warn of the thick darkness and consuming judgement that must befall all who reject His offer of salvation.
Heavenly Father, what a great and mighty God You are, for You created the world by the might of Your great power and are exalted about all gods. And what a wonderful Saviour You are, to send Jesus Christ to be the sacrificial offering for my sin, and the sin of all mankind. Lord, there are many souls in the world today who have not trusted Jesus as Saviour and are destined for thick darkness, consuming judgement, and eternal separation from You, if they do not trust in Christ for salvation. Look down in pity on those that are unsaved, and may Your Holy Spirit convict may of sin, righteousness, and judgement. In Jesus' name, AMEN,