Focal Passage: Psalm 99:1-9
“Awesome God” originally written by Rich Mullins was a favorite in churches and youth groups some years ago (and for some, it still is).
If you’re like me, you couldn’t forget that song even if you tried. Words put to music stick with us. God created us that way.
In light of this, consider the nature of the Psalms and the implications related to the doctrine of inspiration. The Psalms are essentially musical poetry. So, God gave us beautifully constructed musical poetry to sing back to Him in worship.
And though there is an original language barrier that keeps this from occurring in the most natural way, the rhythm, cadence, and word construction make memorization of the Psalms that much easier. The Psalms are meant to be deeply personal worshipful reflections of God that stick with us. Keep this divine design in mind as you consider this Psalm about the might, holiness and power of God.
Personal reflection 1: The Lord reigns (v. 1). We tend to think about God’s reign as a general rule over the universe, and we should because He does.
The Psalm tells us that the people tremble before the rule and reign of God.
Now, think personally. You should tremble as God rules and reigns over you. God’s dominion is so sure, so complete, so pure that it disquiets us so significantly that we are to tremble before Him. Why? We’ve never been confronted with a power like God’s.
Notice also that this reflection draws people to praise (v. 3). Reflecting on the power of God should make us pause because of His power but also praise because of His personal love for us. There is nothing in our life that is found outside the reign of our Good God. What a reason to humbly praise Him!
Personal reflection 2: The Lord is holy (v. 5). There has never been nor will there ever be the stinking stench of sin in the presence of God. As we reflect personally we cannot help but come to the awful conclusion that we reek of unrighteousness.
On your own you are not holy, you are a sinner. And yet, again, the Psalm calls us to “exalt the Lord our God.”
How could wicked sinners exalt a Holy God? Because we are not on our own. Hebrews 10:10 says, “we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ.” Channeling my inner preacher, “Can I get an amen?!” Isn’t that incredible?! By the shed blood of Jesus we are welcome into the throne room of a holy God.
This Psalm is about the might and the power of God and how we as individuals are to respond positively to that power in worship.
This dynamic reminds me of a scene in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. When Susan finds out that Aslan is a lion she is afraid and asks Mr. Beaver if he is safe. To which Mr. Beaver responds, “Safe? Who said anything about safe? Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King I tell you.” B&R