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The Lord Reigns

1The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice;
let the many coastlands be glad!
2Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
3Fire goes before him
and burns up his adversaries all around.
4His lightnings light up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
5The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
before the Lord of all the earth.

6The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
and all the peoples see his glory.
7All worshipers of images are put to shame,
who make their boast in worthless idols;
worship him, all you gods!

8Zion hears and is glad,
and the daughters of Judah rejoice,
because of your judgments, O Lord.
9For you, O Lord, are most high over all the earth;
you are exalted far above all gods.

10O you who love the Lord, hate evil!
He preserves the lives of his saints;
he delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11Light is sown11Most Hebrew manuscripts; one Hebrew manuscript, Septuagint, Syriac, Jerome Light dawns for the righteous,
and joy for the upright in heart.
12Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous,
and give thanks to his holy name!


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Ps 97:1-12. The writer celebrates the Lord's dominion over nations and nature, describes its effect on foes and friends, and exhorts and encourages the latter.

1, 2. This dominion is a cause of joy, because, even though our minds are oppressed with terror before the throne of the King of kings (Ex 19:16; De 5:22), we know it is based on righteous principles and judgments which are according to truth.

3-5. The attending illustrations of God's awful justice on enemies (Ps 83:14) are seen in the disclosures of His almighty power on the elements of nature (compare Ps 46:2; 77:17; Hab 3:6, &c.).

6. heavens—or, their inhabitants (Ps 50:6), as opposed to "nations" in the latter clause (compare Isa 40:5; 66:18).

7. Idolaters are utterly put to shame, for if angels must worship Him, how much more those who worshipped them.

all ye gods—literally, "all ye angels" (Ps 8:5; 138:1; Heb 1:6; 2:7). Paul quotes, not as a prophecy, but as language used in regard to the Lord Jehovah, who in the Old Testament theophania is the second person of the Godhead.

8, 9. The exaltation of Zion's king is joy to the righteous and sorrow to the wicked.

daughters of Judah—(Compare Ps 48:11).

9. above all gods—(Ps 95:3).

10-12. Let gratitude for the blessings of providence and grace incite saints (Ps 4:3) to holy living. Spiritual blessings are in store, represented by light (Ps 27:1) and gladness.

11. sown—to spring forth abundantly for such, who alone can and well may rejoice in the holy government of their sovereign Lord (compare Ps 30:4; 32:11).

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