1 The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice. 2 Clouds and thick darkness surround him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. 3 Fire goes before him and consumes his foes on every side. 4 His lightning lights up the world; the earth sees and trembles. 5 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth. 6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all peoples see his glory. 7 All who worship images are put to shame, those who boast in idols— worship him, all you gods! 8 Zion hears and rejoices and the villages of Judah are glad because of your judgments, Lord. 9 For you, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods. 10 Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. 11 Light shines[a] on the righteous and joy on the upright in heart. 12 Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous, and praise his holy name.
Psalm 97 describes how glorious and powerful God is. His might is overwhelming, “mountains melt like wax before the Lord” (v5), and as a result “those who worship idols are disgraced” (v7).
It is so easy to hear this declaration and agree with it, but then not live in the truth of it day to day. It doesn’t take me long to think of times when I’ve melted like wax before the mountains in front of me, forgetting who God is. So many times I’ve strayed to idol worship – whether that looks like loving money, getting too caught up in my own lofty thoughts at the expense of time with God, giving in to lusts of the flesh, the list goes on!
Verses 10 to 12 are an important reminder in how to live out the truth. We are to hate evil, making sure our hearts are right, and rejoice in the Lord, praising His holy name. These are not actions to be done religiously, but describe the lifestyle of those who love the Lord. The result is that He protects our lives, He rescues us, and His joy and light shine on us!
God, help me to live a life of hating what is evil, with my heart humble and open before You. Let me find increasing joy and ease in rejoicing in You and praising Your name.
Written by Matt Samperi