Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Psalm 99

There are several Psalms that are considered “Royal Psalms” because they proclaim God as King. Several begin with “The Lord reigns” or “The Lord is King”. Psalm 99 does that, too. The mood is reverent and worshipful: “The LORD reigns, let the nations tremble”. The first three verses praise and exalt the Lord’s name and end with the Hebrew word “qadowsh”, holy.

Verses 4 and 5 sing of how just the Lord, our King, is. In fact, that attribute is tripled in one verse: “The King is mighty, he loves JUSTICE – you have established EQUITY; in Jacob you have done what is JUST and right.” Verse 5 says that we are to worship the Lord at his footstool. Where’s the footstool? In Isaiah 66:1 the Lord Himself tells us that the earth is His footstool. Therefore, we can worship Him everywhere. This section ends with one word: He is holy, “qadowsh”.

The last four verses of this Royal Psalm tell of how God answers prayer, how He is just and how He is forgiving. The last word is, of course, “qadowsh”, so this psalm triples this particular characteristic of our Lord, ending each section the same way: the Lord is HOLY. Holiness is the only attribute that is presented in triplicate this way, as in Isaiah 6:3: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty”.

I need to ponder the holiness of the Lord. Like most people in this world, I am often irreverent.