1 The LORD reigns, let the earth be glad! Let distant shores express delight! 2 Clouds and thick darkness cover him; His throne is built on truth and right.
3 Fire goes before him and consumes His enemies on every side. 4 His lightning flashes through the world; At this the earth is terrified.
5 Hills melt like wax before the LORD, Before the Lord of all the earth. 6 The heav’ns proclaim his righteousness; All peoples see his glorious worth.
7 All those who worship images Are put to everlasting shame; Their worthless idols are their boast— You gods, bow down before his name!
8 To Zion hill and Judah’s towns Your judgments, LORD, great joy supply. 9 Above the earth and all the gods Exalted is the LORD Most High.
10 Hate evil, you who love the LORD; His faithful ones he will defend, And from the hands of wicked men To them deliv’rance he will send.
11 Upon the righteous light will shine, And joy on those of upright ways. 12 You righteous, in the LORD rejoice, And to his holy name give praise.
The tunes Bartholomew (here) and Warrington (here) are recommended for this Psalm.
Mmmm! When I read this on the Daily Devotions writers’ rota, I immediately heard it to music in my head. I’d read the Psalms many times but never to music. Time to read the briefing notes to see if this was deliberate and of course it was. Time to search the web – has this been taken from an existing hymn? I found several versions but not one that worked so exactly with the whole Psalm, though I’m sure there must be one.
Come with me now to the Christian Resources Exhibition at Event City, Manchester from which I have just returned. A plethora of stalls, exhibitions and various seminars and talks. I went to Tom Green’s session ‘The Bible in a nutshell’ what an eye opener. An interactive talk on three of the Old Testament kings: Saul the cold-hearted king, David the whole-hearted king and Solomon the half-hearted king. These talks are aimed at school children and geared to school assemblies I learnt a lot. Especially about King David.
Many of the Psalms are attributed to King David; the book of Psalms is divided into five books; this Psalm is in book four (Psalms 90–106.) Most of these Psalms are about praise. Psalm 97 is headed The Glory of God’s reign. This Psalm could well be written by King David the whole-hearted king. The King who sometimes got it wrong. the king who made mistakes but the king who also asked for forgiveness and praised the God of Glory. Our Scriptures are full of human stories of people who get it wrong but who, through it all come back to God. This Psalm begins with praise ‘The LORD reigns, let the earth be glad!’ It ends with praise ‘You righteous, in the LORD rejoice, and to his holy name give praise.’ Praise the Lord.
Lord God of Glory, we praise you: in the times and seasons of our lives we praise you. In April the earth softened and warmed, new life abounded and we saw your glory. In May a plethora of colour springs forth from tree and flower and we see your glory. In June, in the heat of Pentecost, we will see your glory. Lord God of glory, we praise you. Amen
The Rev’d Lena Talbot retired minister worshipping at the URC in Darwen