The holiness of God’s name makes it truly great to His friends and will make it terrible to His enemies.
Let those who worship Him in all humility,
praise His great Name and give Him the glory due unto it.
1 The LORD reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved.
2 The LORD is great in Zion; and he is high above all the people.
3 Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy.
4 The king’s strength also loveth judgment; thou dost establish equity, thou executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob.
5 Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.
6 Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the LORD, and he answered them.
7 He spake unto them in the cloudy pillar: they kept his testimonies, and the ordinance that he gave them.
8 Thou answeredst them, O LORD our God: thou wast a God that forgavest them, though thou tookest vengeance of their inventions.
9 Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy.
Psalm 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Psalm 99 – Worship the Great and Holy One
This psalm has its counterpart in Psalm 97. There Jehovah’s reign is associated with the gladness of faith; here with the trembling of mortal and sinful hearts. Thrice we are reminded that He is holy, Psalm 99:3, 5, 9. This threefold ascription of earth concerning the holiness of God answers the threefold ascription of heaven, where one seraph cries to the rest, saying, “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:3).
God’s holiness is terrible to sinners. It inspires even His own people with awe. However near we come to Him in Christ, we always must remember that we are sinful men who have no right to stand before Him, save through the mediation and in the righteousness of His Son.
How great God must be, who can reckon Moses, Aaron, and Samuel as His servants! And we, too, though beneath them in personal character and gift, are permitted to be among His priests; to call upon His name; to hear Him speaking from the pillar of cloud. Let us all walk worthy of our high calling! Let us fear this great and holy God, who cannot tolerate sin in His children, and will not scruple to inflict pain if sin is persisted in. He does forgive—glory to His name!—but He will not hesitate to chasten us for sins which we presumptuously and knowingly permit. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Psalm 99:6—Samuel among them that call upon his name.
Evidently those that call upon the name of God compose a separate class. There are classes of prophets, pastors, teachers; and there are the mighty wrestlers with God, whose voices are familiar sounds in the Divine presence chamber. It is a high honour to be included among them that call upon his name. If you cannot find your place in any other class, perhaps it is here. Possibly you have great gifts of prayer and intercession, which you have never rightly employed, to your own great loss, and the loss of others. Do not wait for God’s Angel of Providence to shut you forcibly into a lonely chamber, and compel you to use your great gift.
Samuel’s prayers are frequently referred to. At times he would cry unto God all night. He counted it a sin to cease to pray for the people. His prayers secured the defeat of the Philistines; and the nation sheltered itself in his intercessions. We can never estimate the worth of a good man’s prayers; and they lift a man like Samuel, destitute of commanding genius, to stand side by side with Moses in the estimate of Eternity.
In a memorable interview with the late George Muller, he told me some of his wonderful experiences in dealing with a prayer-answering God. Just before he died he heard of the conversion of an old man, for whom he had prayed during fifty years. May not he, and such as he, be remembered in this holy category? Oh to be remembered among those that call on God’s name! But always bear in mind the thrice accentuated message of this Psalm (Psalm 99:3, 5, 9), that God is holy. It is only as we are cleansed from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, that we can prevail in intercessory prayer. —Our Daily Homily