Psalm 97: The Lord is My Hero
Author: Jack Green
Everybody loves a hero! They come in all shapes and sizes, from a conquering hero in a movie, an underdog coming out on top in sports, to an overcomer who beats the odds in life and a gold medalist in the Olympics. We can’t help but stand and cheer as we experience that sense of gladness, joy, and exhilaration for the hard-fought victory.
Lest we forget, Christians have the greatest reigning champion (v.1) of all time and eternity; He has neither been - nor ever will be - defeated. He holds the records for the most wins - past, present, and future. His name is the Lord Most High (v.9); He reigns, now and forever!
As you read and reflect on Psalm 97, a Messianic Psalm, pay attention to the Lord’s character, the Lord’s arsenal, and the Lord’s example.
· The Lord’s character is expressed in the building blocks of His throne. “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne” (v.2). His presence is known to the whole earth (v.5). The Lord’s Light is sown “like seed” into the lives of the righteous and His gladness into the heart of the upright (v.11).
· The Lord’s arsenal is filled with weapons at His disposal. Though the Lord reigns perpetually, this imagery may refer to the Lord’s judgment before Messiah’s kingdom reign on earth. Fire will be used to incinerate His enemies (v. 3). The earth will watch and tremble at the sight of His Lightning (v.4); even the mountains will melt (v. 5).
· The Lord’s example is evident by the heavens shouting and proclaiming righteousness, while the people of the earth are eyewitnesses to His glory (v.6). His own people rejoice and shout with gladness (v.8), and “give thanks to His holy Name.” (v.12)
The battle has raged for centuries; only one victor stands strong for eternity – the Lord Most High. Those you boasted in other champions – “graven images” and “idols” (v.7) - will be put to shame as their heroes bow down to the greatest champion of time and eternity - the reigning Lord Most High (v.7). He is - and always will be - exalted far above all gods (v.9). Now, and in the messianic kingdom after the final battle, it is “the LORD Who preserves the souls of His godly ones.” (v.10)
So, who will you choose as your reigning champion? Will you choose the Lord Most High who preserves your soul and delivers you from the wicked (v.10) or will you boast in the gods of this world in hopes of a win that will never happen?
As the Lord’s people, let us shout the victory cry of the Psalmist:
“Be glad in the Lord, you righteous ones,
And give thanks to His holy name” (v.12).