1 The LORD is king; his throne endures majestic in his height. The LORD is robed in majesty and armed with strength and might.
The world is founded firm and sure— removed it cannot be. 2 Your throne is strong, and you are God from all eternity.
3 The seas, O LORD, have lifted up, they lifted up their voice; The seas have lifted up their waves and made a mighty noise.
4 The LORD, enthroned on high, is strong; more powerful is he Than thunder of the ocean’s waves or breakers of the sea.
5 Your royal statutes, LORD, stand firm; unchanging is your word. And holiness adorns your house for endless days, O LORD.
You can hear Psalm 93 sung to the tune St Magnushere
Three times recently I have found myself back in the church I grew up in, once as a preacher and twice in the congregation. It brought back memories of my childhood when the service would always begin with the singing of a Psalm. Ever since the Psalms have been important to me and I often find myself returning to them for encouragement and comfort. That is true of this Psalm.
The Psalmist speaks of the kingship of God. In my old church there is a high central pulpit and the beadle (a kind of religious usher) would follow the minister up the steps and close the door behind him. The story is told of a boy attending church listening to a fiery preacher. Filled with terror, the boy turned to his mother and said, ‘What will we do if he gets out of there.’ This Psalm speaks not of a distant God in heaven to be afraid of but one who comes and takes on opposing powers in the shape of the unruly waters on the earth. I am glad that God is not caged in heaven but is present here on earth when circumstances might threaten to engulf us.
The minister of my childhood would always be dressed in black cassock and gown, which could also be a bit scary if I didn’t know him to be a kindly person. God is described as being robed, robed in majesty. Ministerial robes can equally be reassuring. Even more comforting is the picture of God robed in majesty who won’t allow life to overwhelm us, who comes to confront the chaos of our world.
Dear God, You are the creator and re-creator. In the beginning you brought order out of chaos and today you want to re-establish order out of the disorder, some of which has been of our own making. In our shifting and changing world we thank you that you are the king in whom we can place our trust. Amen
The Rev’d George Watt, Minister at Reigate Park URC