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Psalm 93

1 The Lord reigns; he is robed in majesty;
the Lord is robed; he has put on strength as his belt.
Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.
2 Your throne is established from of old;
you are from everlasting.

3 The floods have lifted up, O Lord,
the floods have lifted up their voice;
the floods lift up their roaring.
4 Mightier than the thunders of many waters,
mightier than the waves of the sea,
the Lord on high is mighty!

5 Your decrees are very trustworthy;
holiness befits your house,
O Lord, forevermore.

 

More than a week has passed since I meditated on this psalm during the early morning hour yet the conviction to write my thoughts on it has been very persistent since. Alas, using my qwerty board I begin pouring out words concerning the Lord our King.

Thus the psalm begins by depicting  the Lord as the eternal King and, at the same time, describing His rulership (verses 1-3):

  • He reigns as the sole supreme Ruler.
  • He is robed in majesty.
  • He is powerful.
  • His power is displayed in creation (world) and His firm and sustaining control on it.
  • His rule is eternal, without beginning and without end, just as He is eternal.

In verses 4-5, the psalmist leads the reader’s attention now to a particular part of the created sphere – the river and the sea. He further goes to describing displays of nature’s force and power.  A handful of commentaries present flood and sea as metaphors for the nations that are waging war against the people of God and ultimately God Himself. Although this may be a plausible analogy but nothing empirical within the psalm itself directly or even vaguely alludes to it. The psalmist’s transition between the powerful God (v. 1-2) and the power of displayed in nature (v. 3-4) is his prelude to a marvelous truth which I will explain as we go further. Let’s review the given imagery of river and sea:

  • The river in verse 3 (Hebrew nahar rendered ‘flood’ in a handful of translations) could either be the Nile or  Jordan or the Euphrates, depending on who the psalmist is, whose name is not identified. Nevertheless, the focus is the raging swell of the river when it fills with run off from surrounding hills each time the heavens open its floodgate and release enormous amounts of rain that could go on for days. The roaring sound that is produced must have been a testimony of the power of the raging water. We could think of the recent storm-induced floods in Taiwan where buildings along the side of the river were swallowed by the rampaging waters, and in Istanbul, Turkey where big buses and container trucks were moved hundreds of meters from its original position as the mighty waters powerfully moved through a large section of the city. Scores of deaths were reported on each calamity.
  • The ‘thunders of water’ metaphor is tied up with waves of the sea in verse 4. Again a display of nature’s power when a squall would come upon the sea. Again there is no reference to a particular sea – could be the Red, or the Sea of Galilee (see Matthew 8:23-27) or even the Mediterranean. Witnessing a storm that could move the sea waters to swell resulting to towering and undulating waves moving towards the shore and producing a loud crashing sound as the shore line becomes a barrier to its onslaught towards land brings a realization to the psalmist of the immensity of its power. 

Notice now the flow of thought from verses 1-2 which tells us of the strength or power of the Lord who is the King, to verses 3 -4 which describes the power of nature.  Although there is a shift from the greater power to the lesser power, I believe the emphasis is hinted by what is said about the Lord in verse 2 – that His throne is established from everlasting to everlasting.  What do we need to understand with this truth?

  • That the power of nature displayed in the roaring river and the raging sea is not permanent. As soon as the storm would stop, the river and the sea shall return to calmness. In contrast, God powerful rulership is without beginning and without end. It is permanent.
  • And since we have now the unchanging nature of God to comprehend, this reality lends a hand to the wonderful truth in verse 5.  Earlier I mentioned that verses 1 to 4 has become a prelude to something that will form as a bedrock of our faith.

In verse 5, we are now told that God’s decrees are very trustworthy.  Not only shall the decrees of the all powerful King come to pass, but more so His decrees are unchanging as He is.  The reason why His decrees are trustworthy is because of His immutability. When God speaks, it comes to pass and remain to be so.  And the reason I said this shall become the bedrock of our faith is because the promises of God for those who are in Christ shall not cease nor will they ever change.

  • And when the Lord said that the one who repents and believes, even entrusts himself to the only One who saves – Jesus Christ – shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16) – this decree will never change. That in believing what the Lord Jesus spoke and the One who sent Him has eternal life, he will not come into judgment, but has crossed from death to life (John 5:24) – this decree will never change. 
  • That when Jesus said that none of His sheep will be lost (John 6:39; 10:27-28), that the good work began in us by God will be completed on the day of the return of the Lord (Philippians 1:6) – these words shall remain. 
  • That He who foreknew us, also predestined, called, justified and glorified us in the Son (Romans 8:28-30) will never change His mind.
  • That He who promised that He will come back to gather His people into the everlasting kingdom of God is trustworthy.

Consequently, the Lord’s unchanging decree is equally true when Jesus said that “unless you repent you shall likewise perish” (Luke 13:2-5). And His everlasting decree is as much a dread to the sinner who chooses to go on his way than to repent and turn to Jesus Christ alone in faith alone, for the forgiveness of sin resulting to eternal life.

 And because the Lord is the trustworthy King who spoke His decrees, there is none like Him from everlasting to everlasting. The last phrase of verse 5 leads and reminds us of two things:

  • As the word of God is sure and incorruptible , therefore, holy is He indeed.
  • As our faith is grounded on the eternal truth of God, we are to adopt a behavior fitting His royal presence in our lives by the Holy Spirit who enables us to walk in the reality of God’s holiness imparted to us through Jesus Christ. “Become perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect”, says the Lord Jesus Christ. And in Christ alone are we once-and-for-all made holy before God as much as by the same token of grace are we being changed from glory to glory (Matthew 5:48; Hebrews 10:1-10; 2Corinthians 3:18).

C. H. Spurgeon commented that this psalm is most impressive and wrote this concluding praise to the Lord:

O Thou who art so great and gracious a King, reign over us for ever! We do not desire to question or restrain Thy power, such is Thy character that we rejoice to see Thee exercise the rights of an absolute monarch. All power is in Thine hands, and we rejoice to have it so. Hosanna! Hosanna!

So be it Lord, amen!

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Alas, I need to write a short intro to this post from Paul Proctor.  I was just watching the last 15 minutes of CNN’s coverage of the 2-hour memorial service of a recently deceased pop idol. One can be so easily swallowed by the sentiments and emotions poured out for this fallen star. I would like to put my two cents into this blog, but I think Paul Proctor did his piece entitled WHEN “GODS” DIE very well as he puts things in perspective.

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Please go to this link: http://www.newswithviews.com/PaulProctor/proctor181.htm

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