This 97th Psalm is titled “The Lord Reigns” and isa declaration of His might, awesomeness, and power. In it we see a picture of earth’s natural (and anthropomorphized) elements displaying their fear and joy at the coming of the Lord; “let the many coastlands be glad … the mountains melt like wax before the Lord,” etc.
Fires go before Him, lightnings flash across the sky, the earth sees Him and trembles; all the people of the world see the Lord of hosts and those who have worshiped idols are out to great shame. The Lord is proclaimed and exalted above all the earth, and those who love Him are told to hate evil, for He will preserve the lives of His saints; “Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart.” Again, we are commanded, “Rejoice!”
The theme of nature and creation reacting to the majesty and presence of God is a familiar one, especially in the Psalms.
For example –
We see all of this brought into the Gospels too. In Luke 19 we find the triumphal entry of Jesus in Jerusalem when, first confronted with a joyous, raucous, jubilant crowd and then a group of curmudgeonly Pharisees complaining about the noise, Jesus said “He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.””
Clearly, scripture is telling us one very important fact: Just as the sun will rise, just as spring will come, so God will be glorified. It is as inexorable as a flood and as sure as the stars over our heads. Over and over again we see that, at the end of all things, ““’As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God,’”” (Rom. 14:11). Whether righteous or dead in sin, tomorrow or next year or at the end of time, God will be acknowledged for who He is. His promises are sure and have stood the test of time. He is faithful to see you through till the end and forever after. He will be glorified in your victories and struggles and failures. You are secure and safe in the arms of Christ. Just as you are glorified in Him, He will be glorified through you.
There are very few certainties in life. Though many of the things in our day-to-day lives are predictable, there is very little in which we can place absolute 100% certainty. In a world where quite literally anything can happen, anxiety runs rampant as our minds and bodies try to cope with a quickly changing world ahead of us and what can be very real and present troubles and trauma following in our footsteps. So what do we do with something like this? How can we manage to exist as joyful people on a humid and dark Monday morning like today when so much seems to be falling apart?
The answer is this: Find your anchor. Search out and lay hold of something that cannot and will not be moved. It isn’t complicated, though it is difficult. I have personally found and will attest forever that God is the one thing in and above this world that will never, ever change. I cannot be uprooted from Him, whatever happens. Check out Romans 8:37-39: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
We all want security and comfort; we all need assurance and a foundation upon which to build our lives. Just as we see the earth on which we live submitting to and rejoicing in God Almighty, we too can live with similar assurity: O Christian, keep in step with Christ when on your feet and rest in His arms when the earth gives way; then you will find your steady anchor and Christ glorified by your life.
Dear Father, we thank you for the presence and promise of your Word. We thank you for the promise and seal of your Holy Spirit, and humbly confess our many and ongoing failures. Know our hearts and create in us an upright heart, so that being pure in heart we may see you and glorify you in all that we do. Amen!
Song: Christ the Sure and Steady Anchor (Matt Boswell)
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.