Sunday 12 May 2013

Bible Book:

“The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!” (v. 1)

Psalm 97 Sunday 12 May 2013

Background: God is ...

What better way is there to demonstrate the majestic wonder ofCreator God better than by using creation itself? The author oftoday's Psalm uses strong and contrasting images of nature, almosttangible metaphors and vivid similes, and sweeps the reader alongon this journey of describing the glory of God. Clearly, this isnot an easy thing to do, but definitely something to get excitedabout.

Coastlands are described as glad, while clouds (verse 2) arenoted for creating just enough darkness to contrast the lightening.Melting mountains (verse 5), proclaiming heavens (verse 6) andrejoicing towns (verse 8) are mentioned like check-points, paintingthe picture of creation itself adoring the God of creation. Theseactive and contrasting images are not found on an ordinance surveymap or in weather reports, nor are they referred to bythe-polite-but-friendly satellite navigation system found in mostmodern vehicles. They are however the images that the psalmist usesin an attempt to show us how amazing God is in 12 short verses.

This Psalm is attributed to David, written to be sung withjubilation and celebration when the Ark of God had finally been brought back toIsrael, and to the place that had specially prepared for it. ThePsalm is not filled with admiration of the detailed and skilfulcraftsmanship of the Ark, nor does it gush with the hushed tonesand reverent kind of language often describing historic artefacts.Instead, using the Ark as a reference point, the Psalm serves areminder - then and now - of the unparalleled powerful and presenceof God. For David and the nation of Israel, the Ark was a reminderof the God's unchanging promises, and according to today's Psalm,it was a reminder to their enemies too!

After a time of difficulty and seeming defeat, it was bothuplifting and heartening to be reminded that God is above all.

(Click here to read notes on the Gospel passage John17:20-26.)

To Ponder

  • How does nature remind you of the presence of God?
  • What metaphors or similes would you use to describe God'spower?
  • What can you rejoice and give God thanks for today?
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