Sunday, 24 July 2022
“The LORD reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice.” -Psalm 97:1
Psalm 97 begins with a description of the majesty and glory of God as a sovereign- the LORD reigns! The idols and man-made images of worship are confounded and nothing compared to the majesty of the Almighty. The prosperity and happiness of the righteous under the reign of God is also drawn out in the last part of the Psalm.
Let us look into what it means when we say “the LORD reigns”:
‘The LORD reigns’ means that the Almighty God has a ‘big plan’ and nobody can do anything to foil this ‘big plan’. God is a God of purpose. He plans what He will do; then He carries out His plan. Whatever God has purposed will surely come to pass. God said, “…I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure’…I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it.” (Isaiah 46:9-11).
‘The LORD reigns’ means the God of the Bible is sovereign. He has an absolute right to govern His creation as He pleases. God has perfect knowledge and perfect power with which He controls everything. Although the world is in a seemingly chaotic state today, God is still in control of events. ‘All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, “What have You done?” (Daniel 4:35)
‘The LORD reigns’ means the good God will restore His creation to what it was when He first created it, and saw that ‘it was very good.’ (Genesis 1:31). When God rules over all creation and over all humanity, it will be good, for God is good. He has provided Salvation through Christ to restore man. The reign of the LORD is the reason that God sent His Son who took victory over sin and death forever and so whosoever will believe in Him will not perish but will have eternal life.
‘The LORD reigns’ means it is a reign of peace. It means the end of violence, conflict and brokenness. God’s reign brings wholeness and fullness of life. Peace and harmony are restored in all relationships. We are at peace with God, with ourselves, with one another, and with creation.
How does a person receive God’s reign in his/her life?
‘The LORD reigns’ in our lives is through repentance and faith in Christ. Jesus rules in our lives as Lord when we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. God’s reign can be found and seen when they love others, make peace, do good, and proclaim God’s salvation. The gospel is fundamentally good news about the reign of God. The gospel message is God’s rule as King and Lord over our lives.
Here, the Psalmist proclaims the reign of the Lord and then directs the whole earth to respond in joy and gladness, which is the right response to the Lord’s reign; but it doesn’t usually happen with many of them in the world. In today’s culture, the idea of an almighty God who reigns over everything is not an idea that brings joy and gladness to the masses because many still believe that God is partial and he doesn’t punish the evil doers. But, for followers of Christ, the proclamation that “Our God Reigns,” is a joyful one now and forever.
As we meditate this Psalm may it give us a picture of the ultimate reign of Christ Jesus over the earth that we wait for and anticipate!
Listen: 'The LORD reigns'