God is King
For you, O Lord, are supreme over all the earth (v.9).
Recently, my wife, Miska, and I toured London. As
we walked through Westminster Abbey (founded
in AD 960), we viewed the many tombs of monarchs
who reigned centuries ago. We also took in Buckingham
Palace, the main home of the British royal family. Touring
the royal and governmental sites, the word sovereign
repeatedly appeared. The queen’s subjects refer to her
as their Sovereign. When she goes to parliament, she
uses the Sovereign’s entrance. Though England’s ruling
structure has changed, the reflections of an age when
royals ruled absolutely can still be seen.
The psalmist declares another Sovereign who is over the
world: God. He’s the one who is supreme (absolute, final,
unmatched, unparalleled) over all the earth. God rules
over every corner of the globe, every square inch.
Psalm 97 opens with this unflinching, singular
declaration: “The Lord is King!” (v.1). No matter what
powers (political, religious, philosophical, economic) may
declare their autonomy and insist on our allegiance, the
Lord alone is King. No matter how often we’re tempted
to believe that we rule our own destiny or that we must
orchestrate our own existence, the Lord (alone) is King—
This is astoundingly good news! As the psalmist
proclaims: “The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice!” We can
revel in joy because God is king. Yes, God is King, and He
can rescue His people “from the power of the wicked” (v.10). When God is King,
justice rules (v.8). When God is King, light “shines on the godly” (v.11). When
God is King, our world and all we are trying to make of it doesn’t depend on us.
No wonder, then, that the “farthest coastlands [can] be glad” (v.1). All of
God’s creation is free to laugh and dance and live in obedience to the one true,
good King. —Winn Collier
Psalm 97 has many
images. Which ones feel
more powerful to you,
more ominous, more
restful? Write a few of
these images down and
consider how they lead
you to acknowledge that
God is King.
Who is God’s rival as
king in your world?
How do you need to
acknowledge God’s reign
over that rival power?
That's My King