This sister Psalm of Psalm 93 and Psalm 97 begins with the statement of fact: "The Lord reigneth". Truly Jesus is Lord of heaven and earth for "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth" (Matthew 28:18) which is the statement that He made just before giving the Great Commission to those followers of His who would go forth and "turn the world upside down" for Christ.
This Psalm along with its two sisters makes this definite proclamation up front setting the tone for what follows, and in this Psalm the holiness of God and its effect on men is the theme. Therefore if the LORD rules this planet, and He does, (even though the prince of the power of the air is still loose and causing great havoc), then, we must bow the knee and recognize His position, His power and His priorities in the earth and get in step with His program...Amen?
This is what the Psalm focuses upon, getting in step with the program of the Ruler of the universe! Therefore if the LORD reigns: "let the people tremble" in a healthy fear of the LORD. Secondly, His position is seen: "He sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved [stagger]." His place of power is in heaven on His throne sitting amidst these heavenly beings.
Then in (v.2) the Psalmist makes a declaration in view of (v.1) "The LORD is great in Zion; and He is high above all the people." Emphasizing the LORD's mighty position relative to those on earth, both Jew [Zion] and Gentile [people] alike.
The first of three dividing verses is (v.3) "Let them praise Thy great and terrible name; for it is holy." This call to worship in view of the holiness of God's name is similar to the other two calls to worship found in (v.5 & v.9) giving us the three different groups being addressed.
In (v.3) the call is to "the people" in general bringing with it an attitude of solemn worship in view of God's holy name which is like none other for He is God and there is none else, His holiness separating and distinguishing Him from all other gods.
The people are instructed to praise the name of God for it is "great and terrible" showing the characteristics of might and because of the mighty power of God's name it is to be feared because of its awe-inspiring ability.
Secondly, "The king's strength" is focused upon and the necessities of a successful monarchy are supplied by the holy God of heaven: "Thou dost establish equity, Thou executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob".
Again, in view of these great abilities of God the second call to worship is given: "Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at His footstool; for He is holy." The word picture given here brings the king to the feet of the God of heaven to "worship at His footstool" with the underlying reason being God's holiness which is not just an attribute but it is His very essence permeating all of His other attributes.
Then, the Psalmist names some of the most revered names in the Old Testament: "Moses and Aaron among His priests, and Samuel among them that call upon His name; they called upon the LORD and He answered them." Even though they are men of great renown, they are simply called priests who called upon God and He answered them which every one of us as New Testament believers, also enjoy this privilege of being priests unto God.
"He spake unto them in the cloudy pillar; they kept His testimonies, and ordinance that He gave them. Thou answered them, O LORD our God: Thou wast a God that forgave them, though Thou took vengeance of their inventions." This sequence also shows the simplicity of God speaking to them, their obedience, His answering, forgiveness and His punishment of their sin.
Because of these things, the working of God in the lives of His servants, the next call to worship is given in (v.9) "Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at His holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy." With each call a more thorough description of God and His dwelling place is given. But, what remains are the commands to "Exalt...worship...the LORD our God" for this is the everyday, hour by hour, moment by moment duty of man!
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