Psalm 97

The Word Made Fresh

1The LORD reigns; let the earth celebrate!
Let the seashores join in with gladness!
2God is surrounded by clouds and deep mystery.
God’s throne is founded on righteousness and justice.
3A sweeping fire precedes the Sovereign LORD,
and burns up God’s enemies all around.
4God’s lightning lights up the world,
and everyone who sees it trembles.
5The mountains melt like wax when the LORD approaches,
when the ruler of all the earth comes.
6The skies proclaim God’s righteousness
and all the people behold God’s glory.
7Those who bow down to idols are put to shame
because their boasting is all bound up in worthless carved idols.
All their “gods” bow down to the LORD.
8Everyone on Mt. Zion who hears about the LORD rejoices
and the people of Judah celebrate your decrees, O God.
9You, LORD, are the sovereign ruler of the whole earth.
You are exalted far above all the “gods”.
10To love the LORD is to hate evil.
God protects the lives of those who strive to live right,
and rescues them from the hands of evildoers.
11Light shines on those who live right,
and joy comes with the dawn for the good-hearted.
12So, rejoice in the LORD, good people!
Give thanks to God’s sacred name!


1-5: This is clearly an “enthronement hymn” celebrating God’s rule over the universe. The first section is a rather fanciful picture of God’s appearance, wreathed in clouds with lightning flashing out in all directions.

6-9: Given the above description of God’s appearance, no wonder worshipers of idols are put to shame! The people of Zion are justly proud that their God is “most high over all the earth,” and “exalted above all gods.”

10-12: The psalm closes with an affirmation of the righteous and bids the followers of God to rejoice and give thanks.


God is in charge! Give thanks every day!