I don’t know about you, but I can’t help but get excited when I read chapters like these. Psalm 93 declares that God is king, then proceeds to illustrate in great, majestic language how this is true.
Psalm 94 opens by referring to Him as the God of vengeance. This is an interesting word. I think that, to many people, vengeance has a negative connotation. And in the hands of man, vengeance can be an ugly and negative thing, but that’s because man’s vengeance is often not based on perfect justice. But listen to the definition of the word as the Oxford Dictionary has it: Punishment inflicted or retribution exacted for an injury or wrong.
Now, who better than the author of all that is right and good, to be the One to exact vengeance? Who better to judge those who injure or wrong the innocent? Psalm 94 implores God to let His glorious justice shine forth, to give the proud what they deserve, to punish the evil who kill widows and murder orphans.
Our culture often doesn’t like to hear that there truly is evil in the world. Or if they do, many do not think that the ultimate punishment (death) should be meted out. “We don’t have the right to kill another human being, no matter how bad they are or what they have done,” they say. Perhaps. But God does have that right, and that is what the author of this Psalm is calling for. We certainly do not have the right to play God, but God does.
And then Psalm 95 is a call for us to sing and shout joyfully to the Lord, the Rock of our salvation. It shows Him as our shepherd, and us as the flock under his care. This is a call to us to knell before Him, trusting that we will be safe as He watches over us.
Psalm 96 echoes this and reminds us and all creation that He is most worthy of praise. It is a psalm of celebration, with a reminder at the end that He will judge the world with justice, making everything right that has been turned wrong by evildoers.
I for one am amazed and humbled that this Holy and Righteous God, creator of everything that is, takes note of me at all. I am nothing in the grand scheme of things. When I ponder the vastness of the universe, when I think of my failures, when I look at His infinite greatness, I have to ask myself why this God would care about me. But then I am reminded of the scripture that says simply, “God is love.” 1 John 4:8. And John 3:15-18, “16“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.18“There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him.”
How wonderful is His name! Happy new year!