The Lord Reigns

The Book of Psalms 

Psalm 97 – The Lord Reigns  

Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – March 3rd, 2019


  • In a world that is full of moral decay, injustice, and abuse, it is comforting and compelling to know that there is a just, righteous and powerful King who reigns eternal.  This King and His kingdom will have no end.  The kingdom is being establish as we continue to live as the people of the King and will be experienced in its fullness for all eternity. 
  • Psalm 97, our text for this morning, is a part of the 4thbook of Psalms which has the theme of hope.  This psalm is part of a smaller sub-section of psalms (chapters 93-99) which focus on the kingship of God.  Repeatedly in these psalms we see the phrase “the Lord reigns.”  These psalms have an emphasis on His character, His power and His deeds and repeatedly direct us to honor, praise and worship the Lord.    
  • If you are looking for justice, if you are looking for hope, if you are looking for peace, truth and vindication, if you are longing for a true, great, powerful, just and good leader, these psalms will help you to put your hope in God and give your allegiance to Him.   In this psalm we will see how the Lord reigns, why this matters, and what we are to do in light of this.  

The Lord reigns in righteousness and justice

Ps 97:1-2 ESV
The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands
be glad!  2 Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
  • The Lord reigns – He is in charge, He has sovereign power and authority.  He is the one who has the final word, He is the one that is over us, and He is the one we are accountable to.
  • Let the earth rejoice!  Let the many coastlands be glad!  Because the Lord is the one who reigns, the earth should rejoice. This is a very good thing for everyone – for all who have ever lived in every place on the planet. 
  • Clouds and thick darkness are all around Him – God protects us from His perfected presence. He interacts with us at His will and reveals to us in His way.
  • Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne – the King is righteous in His being and in His doing.  Justice is the result and the way that He rules.  Whatever He does is right and perfect – there is no ulterior motive. What He brings in His reign is justice.  He does what is right because He is right. No one will fool Him, and no one is outside His gaze.  

The Lord reigns in great power

Ps 97:3-5 ESV
Fire goes before him and burns up his adversaries all around.
4 His lightnings light up the world; the earth sees and trembles.
5 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord
of all the earth.
  • This King has great power. All of His adversaries will be brought to ash.  Not one of them will be able to stand against Him. Who can stand up to His lightning – its power and its light that will undo and uncover the earth.  He is to be feared and His is seen in all the earth.  The mountains – the pieces of this planet that are the most magnificent, most unyielding, most unchanging, will melt like wax before Him.  He is the Lord of all the earth – not just for those who believe in Him and not just those who culturally grew up in Him.  He reigns in great power and He is the Lord of all the earth. 

The Lord reigns in right judgments

Ps 97:6-9 ESV
The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples
see his glory.7 All worshipers of images are put to shame,
who make their boast in worthless idols; worship him, all you
gods! 8 Zion hears and is glad, and the daughters of Judah
rejoice, because of your judgments, O Lord.9 For you, O Lord,
are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all
  • All people everywhere see His righteousness because of the heavens.  All people of the earth see His glory.  
Rom 1:18-21 ESV
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all
ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their
unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be
known about God is plain to them, because God has shown
it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal
power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever
since the creation of the world, in the things that have been
made. So they are without excuse. 
  • All worshipers of images (anything that is not God) are put to shame by Him. We so often want to make God in the image that we choose vs. who He really is. Those who boast in their worthless idols worship the one true God! All other “gods” are worthless – the Lord will wash them away in a moment and they will be seen for what they are in His presence.  We are to give our praise, loyalty and allegiance to the one true God.
  • His community of people rejoice in His presence, and they do so because His judgments.  In God’s presence and His final judgment, all those who are His will rejoice.  All those who are His will be justified. All those who are His will be satisfied.  It is reason for great rejoicing indeed!  
  • You, O Lord, are the most high – there is no one that is above you, there is no one that compares to you, there is no one who is beyond you. You are far above all Gods!!!  

The Lord reigns in His people

Ps 97:10-12 ESV
O you who love the Lord, hate evil!  He preserves the lives of
his saints; he delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11 Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in
heart.12 Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous, and give thanks
to his holy name! 
  • If you love the Lord, then you are to hate evil.  Don’t participate in it and stand up against it.  Hate evil in all of its forms. And I am not talking about hating people, but the true source of the evil is the enemy who convinces people to join forces with him through lies.  
Eph 6:12 ESV
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the
rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers
over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil
in the heavenly places.
  • God is the one who will preserve your life. God is the one who will deliver you from the hand of the wicked.  God is the one who will give the verdict.  Continue to do good, continue to live in the light, and continue to hate evil.  God will illuminate you and God will show you the pathway to take.  You overcome evil with good – let the truth of it be shown. God will give you joy – for those who are upright in heart – in His judgment there is joy so continue to have a heart that is upright.  
  • Rejoice in the Lord – let your joy be in Him. He is the one who reigns. His throne is established in righteousness and justice. His power is supreme, and His word and His judgment is true and final.  There is no appealing to another judge.  This should make the righteous rejoice and cause us to give thanks to His Holy Name! 


  • He reigns in righteousness and justice.  He reigns in great power.  He reigns in right judgments.  He reigns in His people.  His reign, His judgments and His people are righteous.   Give Him praise, be glad for his rule and reign, rejoice in His judgments, hate evil light in the light pray for His kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Look forward to His appearing and work to usher it in.    
Isa 9:6-7 ESV
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the
government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall
be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of
peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over
his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and
with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. 
  • Jesus is the great king who was declared the as the “serpent crusher” to Adam and Eve.  He was promised to Abraham and to David.  He was prophesied by the scriptures.  He was given through the spirit and who will return in His glory to rule and to reign forever and will reward those who are found in Him.  Rejoice and be glad in Him – praise Him among the nations! 
  • Next week is Psalm 107 – the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases – let the redeemed of the Lord say so!