Psalm 97: Glory of God’s Reign

What evidence do we have that the Lord rules over all?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 97:1 The Lord rules over all things. Let all the lands and the many islands rejoice.
King James
Psalm 97:1 The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.

Why do the “lands and many islands” need an exhortation to rejoice in God?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 97:1 The Lord rules over all things. Let all the lands and the many islands rejoice.
King James
Psalm 97:1 The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.

If God is light, how can clouds and thick darkness surround him?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 97:2 Clouds and thick darkness surround him. Righteous judgment and justice are the foundation of his rule.
1 Peter 2:9 You are a chosen people of the royal order, a pure and holy multitude in a unique position to exalt the one who has brought you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
1 John 1:5 We received this message from the Lord and declare it unto you. God is light, without even a shadow of darkness.
King James
Psalm 97:2 Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.
1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

Can God make even the slightest mistake in his righteous judgment? Why?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 97:2 Clouds and thick darkness surround him. Righteous judgment and justice are the foundation of his rule.
King James
Psalm 97:2 Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.

Who are God’s “enemies” who will be consumed?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 97:3 Fiery blasts from his throne consume his enemies all around.
King James
Psalm 97:3 A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about.

How can we distinguish God’s judgment from natural weather events that we call “acts of God”?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 97:4–5 Lightning brightens the world. The earth sees the light and trembles. The mountains melt at the presence of the Lord, who rules all the earth.
King James
Psalm 97:4–5 His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled. The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lorc, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.

What makes a starry night sky breathtaking? How does that view speak of God’s glory?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 97:6 The heavens reveal God’s righteousness, and all the people behold his glory.
King James
Psalm 97:6 The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.

What allows a person to believe an idol can satisfy a person’s desires?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 97:7 When people worship idols that boast of their ability to satisfy their desires, they are confused when their needs aren’t met. Let the idols bow and worship God, for he alone is Lord.
King James
Psalm 97:7 Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods.

How can an idol bow and worship God?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 97:7 When people worship idols that boast of their ability to satisfy their desires, they are confused when their needs aren’t met. Let the idols bow and worship God, for he alone is Lord.
King James
Psalm 97:7 Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods.

What distinguished Jerusalem from other cities in their “hearing and rejoicing”?

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Psalm 97:8 Jerusalem heard and rejoiced. The villages of Judah celebrated because the Lord brought justice.
King James
Psalm 97:8 Zion heard, and was glad; and the daughters of Judah rejoiced because of thy judgments, O Lord.

What is the difference between authority and power? How does that distinction apply to God?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 97:9 You, Lord, have authority above everything on Earth. Your position stands far above all other powers.
King James
Psalm 97:9 For thou, Lord, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods.

What does it mean to “love” the Lord?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 97:10 Love the Lord and hate evil, for God guards the lives of his faithful followers. He delivers them from the power of the wicked.
King James
Psalm 97:10 Ye that love the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.

What reasons do we have to love God?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 97:10–11 Love the Lord and hate evil, for God guards the lives of his faithful followers. He delivers them from the power of the wicked.
Light shines on the righteous, and those with clean hearts are filled with joy.
King James
Psalm 97:10–11 Ye that love the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.

What makes God “uniquely” great?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 97:12 Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord and give thanks, remembering how uniquely great he is.
King James
Psalm 97:12 Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.