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Reading:                                          Psalm 97

Verses 1-7

The LORD reigns, let the earth be glad;
let the distant shores rejoice.
Clouds and thick darkness surround him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Fire goes before him
and consumes his foes on every side.
His lightning lights up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the L
ORD,
before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
and all peoples see his glory.

All who worship images are put to shame,
those who boast in idols—
worship him, all you gods!
(NIV).

Reflection

Who is in charge here? In any situation, that’s a legitimate question. There are always a variety of authorities in any given situation. A week ago I watched Prince William and his family get off a plane in Victoria, BC. On the tarmac the royal family was first greeted by the Governor General, then by the Prime Minister of Canada, then the Lieutenant Governor of the British Columbia and finally, the Premier of the province. They were all lined up according to proper protocol. Yes, there are a variety of authorities all deserving respect. But this question remains. Who is in charge here?

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Bilberry Creek, Orleans, ON — photo by David Kitz

The authorities of this world have jurisdiction over a certain geographic area or realm. Some authorities govern well and others rule as despots who plunder the wealth of the nation. But Psalm 97 reminds us that there is one great authority who rules over all. The LORD reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice.

The earth can be glad and the distant shores can rejoice because this King, this heaven-dwelling authority rules well. He does not plunder His faithful people and bring them to ruin. He reigns supreme from on high. Clouds and thick darkness surround him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.

We can rest assured that the LORD will do what is right. He is allied with goodness, mercy and truth. That’s why justice is the foundation of His throne. We should not fear His judgments because they are right and good. Yes, the authors of evil should be afraid, but if we have done right, we can count on the LORD as our defender. Now here is a proclamation that we all should heed. The heavens proclaim his righteousness and all peoples see his glory.

Response: LORD God, it is my prayer that all people will see your glory and bow before you, the magnificent King of Righteousness. Let the distant shores rejoice because you reign. Amen.

Your Turn: Is the Lord Jesus reigning over you and your home? Who has jurisdiction there?