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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

Psalms 97

Verses 1-12

Psalms 97-100 God the universal king

Psalms 97:0 follows on from the thought on which the previous psalm closed (namely, that God is king over the earth). It shows that holiness, righteousness and justice are the basis of God’s kingdom. His judgment will be as universal as a flash of lightning and as powerful as an all-consuming fire (97:1-5). Every thing will bow before his rule (6-7). His own people already recognize him as Lord and bring him fitting worship (8-9). They can experience the light and joy of his salvation in their everyday lives as they reject what is evil and choose what is good (10-12).

Continuing the theme of the previous psalm, Psalms 98:0 reminds the people to welcome the divine universal king. By his power, he has conquered evil and established his kingdom in righteousness and love (98:1-3). People worldwide are to praise God with music and singing because of his great victory (4-6). The physical creation is invited to join in the praise, rejoicing because of him who rules the earth with justice (7-9).

From his throne in Zion, the city of God, God rules over the earth in holiness and justice (99:1-4) and people respond with worship (5). The psalmist refers to the lives of Moses, Aaron and Samuel to show how God answered the prayers of those who submitted to his rule and obeyed his law (6-7). When people disobeyed they were punished, but when they repented God forgave them (8). The God who rules in Zion is holy, and those who worship him must also fear him (9).

Psalms 100:0 is the climax of this group of six psalms. People of all the world are to worship God gladly, acknowledging him as their God, their maker and their shepherd (100:1-3). They are invited to come into his temple, where they can unite in thankfully praising him for his loving faithfulness to them (4-5).

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Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Psalms 97". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/psalms-97.html. 2005.