Friday, August 26, 2016

Being Glad He Reigns

Psalm 97:1-12

“The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.” (Psalm 97:1)

Several years ago, there was a group who declared God was dead and held a funeral for hi.  Thousands of atheists insist he doesn’t exist, and millions more have chosen to worship some man or animal or inanimate object instead, because, as Romans 1:28 tells us, “…they did not like to retain God in their knowledge…”  Fortunately, as Mark twain commented on reading his obituary in the newspaper, the reports of his death have been exaggerated.

When God created the world, he established certain rules or laws by which it was to function.  Those laws include both moral and social principles, and the laws of science or nature.  Since creation, mankind has been trying to rewrite the rules. And make things work the way they want them.  The alchemists fo the middle ages tried to change the rules for chemistry.   Just a few years ago, suppoed scientists were proclaiming that we had been able to break the law of gravity, and modern evolutionists insist that at some point in time the laws of science have been changed.   Political powers try to rewrite the social laws and create an economy that functions without concern for the basic principles of supply and demand and human nature, and others try to rewrite the moral and ethical standards of right and wrong. 

Because God still reigns, they have been unable to change those laws, and even the most distant lands have should rejoice because of it.  Were the law of gravity to be overcome, for example, there would be nothing to keep the oceans from covering the entire earth and drowning everything.  There would be nothing to keep centripetal force from flinging the world away from the sun and everything on earth from freezing to death. 

Ignoring the principles of supply and demand have resulted in economic collapse and starvation around the world and led to riots and revolution throughout history.  The effects of changing the moral values can be seen in the mass murders and crime rates of modern society.   Without the power of God to enforce his laws, the entire world would be in random chaos, with no one able to accomplish anything.   If people were as smart as they think they are, they would be rejoicing that the world functions according to God’s immutable rules so that they can predict the results of their actions.
“Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.  A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about.  His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled.  The hills melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.” (Psalm 97:2-5)

We usually do not associate God with clouds and darkness, which hide things, but as ! Corinthians 2:14 tells us, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”   He rules with absolute fairness and justice, but humanity has been corrupted by sin and cannot see or understand.   God sends a fire to destroy those who ignore his laws and those who hate him, and lightening to show his power and his standards, causing the world to fear.  Even the very hills melt away before his power. 

“The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.  Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods.  Zion heard, and was glad; and the daughters of Judah rejoiced because of thy judgments, O LORD.  For thou, LORD, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods.” (Psalm 97:6-9)

God created life on earth, and the fact that the sun rises every day to provide light and make things grow demonstrates his righteousness in not allowing everything to die.  Anyone looking can see that he deserves our respect for his power and concern for us.  People who worship things he has made or even idols they made only show themselves to be fools, settling for something without power.  When Other nations ignored God, Judah and the city of Jerusalem worshipped him, recognizing he was the ruler of the earth and greater than any of the other gods people worshipped. 

“Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.  Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.  Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.” (Psalm 97:10-12)

If we love and respect God, we should hate evil. Both because he hates it, and because it tries to destroy us.    Proverbs 8:13 tells us, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.”  The evil seek to destroy those who are good, but God protects them.   He provides light and direction to guide them and gives them things to rejoice about.  Those who love and obey him should take the time to enjoy what he gives them and thank him for it.  

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