It is enough to make us rejoice in and adore Jehovah that His throne is fixed upon the rock of eternal holiness,
that righteousness is His immutable attribute and that judgment marks His every act.
Though we cannot see or understand all that He does,
we may be sure that when the books of divine providence are opened,
no eye will discern a word that should be blotted out.
1 The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.
2 Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.
3 A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about.
4 His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled.
5 The hills melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
6 The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.
7 Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods.
8 Zion heard, and was glad; and the daughters of Judah rejoiced because of thy judgments, O LORD.
9 For thou, LORD, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods.
10 Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.
11 Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
Psalm 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Psalm 97 – “Rejoice in the LORD”
The keynote here is the reign of God. To the wicked, it spells misery; to the believer, it is the inauguration of harmony and joy. It is as though herald-angels step from isle to isle, from mountain peak to mountain peak, with the glad tidings of great joy. It is not always easy to trace its advent. Clouds and darkness are around him. The eye of sense cannot penetrate the black enclosing pall, but faith is ever certain that righteousness and judgment are the foundation of His throne.
Sometimes God comes in fire, Psalm 97:3, as at Sinai, or on the day of Pentecost, which took place on the anniversary of the giving of the Law. Days come like that on which Jerusalem fell, or when the Turks took Constantinople, or when Napoleon was shattered at Waterloo—then hills melt like wax. But through all dark and terrible dispensations the Kingdom is secretly growing, the Lord is being exalted, and light is being sown for His people, Psalm 97:11. So, believer, your tears and fightings, as they pass, are absorbing heaven’s love and power, which they will hold in reserve though buried for long in the dark. Days are at hand of unspeakable gladness. Be of good cheer. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Psalm 97:11—Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.
Light means recognition, joy, song. These await such as are clad about with the righteousness of Christ, and are following the paths of righteousness for his Name’s sake. Never swerve from the path of the righteous; however trying and dark your present experience may be, it leads to a harvest-home of joy beyond the years.
Sowing is sad work. It is a casting away of precious seed; the flinging far and wide of the treasured stores of the barn; an expenditure of the present for the future. The sower’s heart might fail if it pictured the field mice, the rotting rains, the blighting mildew, which have ruined so many hopes, and lie in wait. So the present is your sowing-time; but every moment of trial, each stab of pain, nobly borne, is a seed-germ cast into the furrows, which will certainly bring a blessed recompense of light. You do not realize it, but you are sowing light. Each act of self-denial, in which you cast yourself into the ground to die, is a seed-germ of the harvest of gladness.
Coal is sown light. When the forests in all the glory of their foliage were hurled into the bosom of the primeval earth, and desolation reigned, it seemed a sad waste of the Creators work. Who could have realized then that God was really sowing the light of winter nights, the fires of factory and forge? Do not be too sad. Harvest will come, though the weeks move slowly.
“All we have willed or hoped or dreamed of Good shall exist:
Not its semblance, but itself; no Beauty, nor Good, nor Power,
Whose voice has gone forth, but each survives for the melodist,
When Eternity affirms the conception of an hour.” —Our Daily Homily