by: Denise Robinson
Today's psalm has a "royal" tone; it celebrates God as King of the universe and affirms his rule over everyone and everything in it.
The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice; let the may coastlands be glad! Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire goes before him, and consumes his adversaries on every side. His lightnings light up the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim his righteousness; and all the peoples behold his glory .. For you, O Lord, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods. The Lord loves those who hate evil; be guards the lives of his faithful; he rescues them from the hand of the wicked. Light dawns for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name. (Ps. 97)
As I sit and type these words it is cloudy outside and thunder is rumbling. "The earth sees and trembles." Unlike this psalmist, we have scientific knowledge that tells us about thunder, lightning, wind, etc. And yet, for a poem writer, these natural phenomenon are still metaphors for the power and glory of God. I think the imagery that most strikes me, however, is that of God's throne being supported by a foundation of righteousness and justice. We equate power with the ability to take advantage of others or to gain wealth. God's power comes from another source and has another purpose, and will have another outcome. Light will dawn and righteousness will be restored. Rejoice in the Lord!