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Psalm 97, Part 1

Discussion in 'Bible Study Forum' started by Harvest 1874, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. Harvest 1874

    Harvest 1874 Active Member

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    Psalm 97 was written by the Psalmist David, who taking a prophetic standpoint of observation looked forward in time to our day, the “day of the Lord”, the day of his (Greek: Parousia, presence), the Second Advent. It is important to remember that most of the prophetic utterances of the prophets of old were written not for their benefit, but rather “for our admonition upon whom the ends of the Ages have come" (1 Cor. 10:10)

    To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.” (1 Pet 1:12)

    The prophets acknowledge their own ignorance of what they wrote, that it was not for themselves, but for the instruction of the Church, and especially for those residing at the time the two ends of the ages would over lap, viz. the opening end of the Millennial age and the closing end of the Gospel age, i.e. during the harvest when the Lord of the harvest would be present.

    Excerpts for this study come from various Bible Students resources most notably that of Brother Doran’s discourse of Psalm 97.

    “The proclamation that "the Lord reigns" as foretold in this beautiful prophetic Psalm, is one that was to be made at the time of the Lord's second presence. It is equaled in importance only by the announcement that was made by John the Baptist, who informed the people of his day of Christ's first presence, that wonderful proclamation that was made in the words: "The kingdom of heaven is at hand."

    It is the Lord's people at this time (at the “ends of the ages”), the "feet of him" -- that is, the feet or last members of the body of Christ -- that are privileged to announce this glorious kingdom message to the people. Concerning our privileges in this connection, the Prophet Isaiah wrote: "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” - Isa 52:7

    VERSE 1The Lord reigns; Let the earth rejoice; Let the multitude of isles be glad!

    The Lord reigns!” —just these three words begin the chapter yet in them are summed up THE message of the ages! It is the proclamation of the beginning of the age which will terminate in the perfection of all things! It is the answer to the age old prayer of saints: "Thy kingdom come."

    The early part of Messiah's reign is described in vivid language in this Psalm however whereas Jehovah (the Almighty) is credited with reigning, it is accomplished in the Kingly presence of His great Representative, Christ Jesus.

    It is only wise to ask who is meant by the word LORD. Is it Jehovah’s reining or Jesus’ reigning? It is both, and this is amply borne out by Scripture testimony. Jesus’ reign is at the forepart of Jehovah’s reign which extends into the ages of eternity. The first age of this eternity is expressly reserved for administration by Christ Jesus and His Church. Therefore the reign is of the Father, yet by the Son.

    Two texts which demonstrate this are Rev 11:15 and Psa 2:2. In each the ruling power is stated to be "The Lord and His anointed (Christ);" i.e., God and The Christ (Head and body complete, the Church glorified). The context of Psalm 2 continues to bolster this conclusion. In verses 4 through 9, we are instructed that Jehovah has "anointed" (installed) His Son as judge and king.

    Let the earth rejoice; Let the multitude of isles be glad!

    The remainder of Verse 1 of Psalm 97 sums up what should be earth’s reaction to the news of the reign, if earth could only understand! The Psalmist tells us, however, that the earth won’t rejoice; it will tremble (Verse 4). Those who do understand (those begotten of God) do rejoice. Thus it is written in Verse 8 that "Zion heard, and was glad!

    For a more detailed explanation of why the earth should rejoice, David wrote Psa 98:4- 9. But in Psa 97:1, he merely reminds us of the impending joy before he relates the misery which must first come upon the world (the impending great time of trouble soon to come). “The morning cometh (the blessed day), and also the night (a night of clouds and thick darkness)…” Isa 21:12

    While the world (as well as the nominally professing church) will not yet hear, it is, nevertheless, our great privilege to tell them the good news of the Lord’s reign. There is now a new generation; indeed, it is half of our population! And they have never yet heard the truth! They are a generation of seekers and questioners; they are a generation which has rejected traditional theology; they are a generation ripe for the message of the Kingdom. It seems inconceivable that the Church will vanish from this earth silently. And now the Lord has provided a huge receptive audience for our final witness! Let us proclaim: "The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice!"

    “The Psalmist wrote: "Let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad"; that is, because of the proclamation of the kingdom message. The Zion class (Spiritual Israel), particularly, is glad because of the assurance that "Thy God reigns!" To these it means that the Abrahamic Covenant will soon reach its complete fulfillment, that through the promised "seed" all the families of the earth will he blessed.

    The fact that the time for the kingdom is here also means that restitution blessings will soon be flowing out to the world; that the highway of holiness will soon be opened; that the wilderness and the solitary places of the earth shall he made glad. Also that soon the earth shall yield her increase and the desert blossom as the rose. It means, furthermore, that the time is near when every man shall dwell under his own vine and fig tree, and when there will be no more sickness, and when the blind shall see, the lame walk, and the deaf hear.

    We will continue with verse 2 in our next post.
     
  2. Harvest 1874

    Harvest 1874 Active Member

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    Psalm 97, Part 2

    VERSE 2Clouds and darkness surround Him; Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.”

    “The morning cometh (the blessed day), and also the night (a night of clouds and thick darkness)…” Isa 21:12

    “Suddenly the picture changes from joy to gloom! David now characterizes the effects of the beginning of the reign lest anyone err in picturing the Millennium as all sunshine.

    "Darkness is round about him."—Darkness is a symbol. It stands for lack of understanding. David shows the world doesn’t understand the Lord or His purposes. Thus they cannot rejoice, as Verse 1 admonished.

    How long will this darkness remain? The Scriptures explicitly declare that this darkness must remain until the miraculous deliverance of Israel.

    Isaiah 60:1- 3
    explains that the light dispelling the darkness will be manifested ONLY through the nation of Israel.

    Arise; shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you (That is the Holy Remnant of Israel those who survive Jacob’s Trouble). For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth and deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.”

    Note that when this light first comes upon Israel, the earth (i.e. society, what’s left of it) will still be in darkness and the people in gross darkness (in the midst of the great time of trouble and anarchy). The directive “arise, shine” shows that a definite or fixed time is coming in God’s plan when He will establish His Kingdom in power and great glory.

    Many Christians have applied the language in verse 3 to the Church and its leadership role in the next age. But this verse should not be considered alone, for it is part of a continuous context about God’s redemption of Jacob and the introduction or establishment of the Kingdom.

    Kings [shall come] to the brightness of thy rising.” When the Kingdom is inaugurated, the “brightness” of Israel’s rising will be rapidly apparent. The establishment of the Kingdom will not be a gradual process requiring many years but will happen speedily and with great power and glory.

    Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion (the spiritual phase of the kingdom) shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem (the earthly phase of the kingdom).” Isa 2:3

    Then will "ten men take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you." (Zech 8:23)

    Darkness is lack of understanding of the situation. What is the situation in the world today? The situation of mankind is this: TWO SIDES. Mankind has divided himself into two camps. Man knows this; but he doesn’t understand it. He is in darkness regarding its cause and cure.

    On one side we have restless men (generally, but not always, young people). On this side are men of vision who are discontented with the world they see; also, there are men of despair. Their common aim is change, hoping that whatever comes will be better.

    On the opposite side we have men who want to preserve the present order. Often they are men of means or power. But also on this side are men of fear, and while they have little to protect in the way of belongings, they fear any change lest it result in trouble. The Darkness that overcomes them all is the lack of knowledge that God is using them against each other to remove the old order for the full establishment of His Kingdom.

    But we, Brethren, are not in that darkness. The Lord has enlightened our eyes through His Word.

    Consider Psalms 93. The opening verse places us at the same historical moment as Psalms 97—"The Lord reigns”. But another element enters the picture: "The world also is established so that it cannot be moved." This is the setting for a battle! The Lord who reigns versus the world that refuses to let Him reign! The 3rd verse acknowledges that the world is not all of one mind however! There is a "flood" classthe sea of restless humanity. And in the 4th verse we are assured that the Lord is able to control that class to do His bidding. But the Psalm never gives us the result of the battle! It simply closes by stating that the Lord’s testimonies are sure.

    What are the Lord’s testimonies concerning how He will use the sea class to conquer the world? We must look elsewhere to find out.

    We will take a look at this in our next post.
     
  3. Harvest 1874

    Harvest 1874 Active Member

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    Psalm 97, Part 3

    One of the testimonies is found in Mark 11. In verses 13 and 14 and 20 - 22 is related the incident of our Lord’s cursing of the fig tree which pictured the Jewish nation. When Peter questioned the matter, our Lord gave him a strange answer indeed! He said (Verse 22), "Have faith in God." Then he gives a parable which on the surface seems to have little relationship to the fig tree incident. The Lord states that if we say to a mountain that it should be cast into the sea, we would have that wish fulfilled. What did our Lord mean?

    He said "THIS Mountain"—(We can almost picture him with a sweeping motion of his hand pointing out to all of his surroundings.) Mountain is symbolic of Kingdom, and the Lord was pointing to Satan’s kingdom, the present order of things. And, indeed, the Church class has been asking for the removal of Satan’s kingdom for centuries, for when we pray "Thy Mountain (Kingdom) Come" we are indeed praying for the removal of the present mountain. It is because of the great faith of the true Church in making its calling and election sure that this will be possible. It is for this reason that the Lord began with the statement regarding faith.

    The Lord’s faith made possible the dissolution of the Jewish order (pictured by the fig tree); The Church’s faith ("the bride hath made herself ready") makes possible the dissolution of the larger order—Satan’s mountain. But the Lord went further. He added a prophecy of how Satan’s kingdom would be destroyed. He said it would be destroyed by the restless masses of humanity—"cast into the sea."

    No doubt the Lord had in mind the marvelous description of David given in Psalms 46. This Psalm tells us why (in Psalms 97 verse 8, that) “Zion hears and is glad!

    Psalms 46:1 assures us of our protection in this day while the mountains are being cast into the sea. Verse 4 of this psalm shows what makes Zion glad. It is the streams of a river. This is a marvelous statement! It demonstrates the overlapping of destruction and restitution. The river is the river of the waters of life of Rev 22:1. A stream is a small tributary of a river. Therefore, the Psalmist is stating that the small beginnings of restitution are making Zion glad. These small beginnings are strengthening our faith while the present order crumbles!

    So we see the importance of darkness to the beginnings of God’s reign. It is a tool in the destruction of Satan’s empire; it is a witness to the Church in that we are not plagued by the darkness for we dwell in the light.

    Psalms 97:2 also mentions “clouds”. Clouds, of course, cause darkness and are therefore a good symbol of obscurity and confusion resulting from lack of light (understanding). Confusion is trouble and causes trouble. Hence clouds are always associated with trouble.

    We are on the verge of the New Covenant arrangement. Our understanding of it can be enhanced by considering the old (Law) covenant as it was on the verge of ratification. We will see that clouds existed at that event also. It is recorded in Exodus 19 and is full of beautiful typical and symbolical significance.

    [​IMG]

    Psalms 97:10- 11 set the stage. Antitypically we can see that our Lord has been sanctifying a people (His Church) for two days of a thousand years each. (His first advent was in man’s fifth Millennium; and the Gospel Age continued through the sixth Millennium.) It is promised that on the 3rd day (hence man’s 7th Millennium) the Lord would make the covenant. In Exod 19:16-18 we find the fulfillment of that promise. And the events describe our day (the making of a new covenant) perfectly. Note the appropriate symbols as they correspond to Psalm:

    On the third day, in the morning” = “The Lord Reigns”, (beginning of reign)

    Thick cloud” = “Clouds and darkness”, (the great time of trouble)

    The sound of the trumpet” = the Last Trump, the Jubilee Trump

    The people who were in the camp trembled” = “The earth sees and trembles

    The scriptures tell other things about clouds too! Clouds bring blessings! (This is why Zion is glad!) Prov 16:15 states that God’s favor "is as a cloud of the latter rain." Rotherham’s reads, "harvest rain." So it is abundantly clear that the same clouds which the world sees as only trouble bring blessings to Zion! We have received abundantly of the refreshing of harvest rains of truth (That is those who are awake and in the right condition of heart to receive the harvest message).

    Back to Psalms 97:2.

    RIGHTEOUSNESS and JUDGMENT are mentioned next. The words are strong reminders of Isa 28:17, "Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet."

    It is imperative, Brethren, to remember that this text is being fulfilled before our eyes this day. While it is not yet applicable to individuals, it is being applied to governments and institutions (both religious and civil). The nations could not be destroyed unless they have been judged! To think otherwise would make a mockery of God’s justice. In the words of Daniel 5:27, "Thou art weighed in the balances (judged) and art found wanting." The important lesson in Psalm 97:2 is that righteousness and judgment are the means by which the Lord establishes His throne. "Righteousness and judgement are the establishment (margin) of His throne." In other words, peace is not a sign of the establishment of the Kingdom! No one would recognize a throne set up in peace. Instead, the throne is established by judgments. "In righteousness he doth judge and make war." (Rev 19:11) Thus we see the scriptural link between the judgment day and the establishing of the kingdom reign by trouble.

    We will continue with Psalms 97 verse 3 in our next post.
     
  4. Harvest 1874

    Harvest 1874 Active Member

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    Psalm 97, Part 4

    VERSE 3A fire goes before Him, and burns up His enemies round about.”

    If we inquire, why is this Day of His presence such a Time of Trouble and distress of nations? The answer comes, because righteousness and judgment are the habitation of His Throne, and He is judging the nations and weighing them in the balance. Judgment is being laid to the line and righteousness to the plummet (Isa 28:17), to the intent that ere long the equitable principles of His Government may be established in all the earth. Not only will all unrighteousness be made manifest, but “a fire goes before Him and burns up His enemies.” All the willful and persistent opposers of His righteous course shall be “cut off,” “destroyed,” “burned up,” “devoured with the fire of His jealousy.” — Zeph. 3:8.”

    David here shows that the enemies of the kingdom (the present order of things, more specifically corrupt systems and organizations both religious and civil) are not merely restrained, but destroyed.

    Fire here as elsewhere, symbolizes destruction. The thought should be stressed, however, that this is not destruction for the sake of destruction; it is, rather, destruction for the cause of justice that is RIGHTEOUS destruction. God never destroys for the thrill of destroying. That is a barbaric and dark age philosophy.

    God destroys because the institution under destruction has no right to exist; it is corrupt and under a RIGHTEOUS sentence of destruction. Knowing this, we can say yea and amen to Paul’s words: "Our God is a consuming fire." Heb 12:29

    VERSE 4His lightnings light the world; the earth sees and trembles.”

    The “Lightnings” mentioned here are also predicted in Dan 12:4 where the prophet told that "knowledge shall be increased." We have studied darkness and found it to be lack of understanding. Light is the opposite; it is knowledge. Much light results in understanding. But the lightnings here mentioned are too brief in duration to permit understanding. Instead, they promote fear. Lightning is extreme brightness in the midst of gross darkness and storminess. We all know the result, it blinds and it causes disorientation, confusion. The cries of liberty, equal rights, etc., are all flashes of truth disturbing the surrounding darkness. And has the entire world in turmoil!

    A beautiful prophecy about this lightning is written in Zech 10:1,

    "Ask the Lord for rain in the time of the latter rain (harvest rain). The Lord will make flashing clouds (lightening flashes); He will give them showers of rain, Grass in the field for everyone.”

    Here we are informed of two effects of rain. As we earlier considered in Prov 16:15, the Church is refreshed by the harvest rain (truths now due at the time of the harvest). Yet here, all the grass in the field is to have showers of rain likewise.

    From Isaiah 40:6, 7 we learn that this grass represents the people, mankind in general. So, Zechariah is acknowledging that all mankind are receiving some benefit or refreshing now—at the same time as the "flashing clouds" or lightnings. It is a testimony that restitution blessings are present—even if they are being misused. And note that it is the Lord who sends these blessings by lightningsthe increase of knowledge. All this rain (which is symbolic of refreshing) is in perfect accord with Peter’s statement (Acts 3:19) when he refers to the present (time, the harvest) as "times of refreshing (rain)." It is little wonder that Zion (the true Church) is glad when she realizes all this!

    But we notice in Psa 97:4 that the general effect of the lightnings upon the world is trembling: "The earth saw and trembled." It is, however, no surprise; this result was amply prophesied. Recall what was stated in Exodus 19:16, "All in the camp (world) trembled." And our Lord’s words in Luke 21:26, "Men’s hearts failing them for fear and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth. . ."

    “It is in the midst of the clouds and darkness of this Day of Trouble incident to the setting up of Messiah’s Kingdom that the statement of the Prophet is verified: “His lightnings enlightened the world; the earth saw, and trembled.” How apt is this figure! Truly like lightning flashes in the midst of the gloom and perplexity of this cloudy day, come to men the remarkable glimpses of the great principles of Truth and Righteousness in contrast with which the world’s present disorder is so manifest! A flash of lightning from the obscured Throne discloses here one error, and there another, and another. Soon the whole world will be aroused. Already it is largely so. Every day adds to the intensity of the trouble, and the whole world trembles for fear, not knowing what the outcome will be, but dreading the worst.”

    Continued with next post.
     
  5. Harvest 1874

    Harvest 1874 Active Member

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    Psalm 97, Part 5

    VERSE 5The Mountains (kingdoms) melt like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.”

    David declares that the kingdoms melted. He had previously stated the same in Psa 46:6, “The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted.”

    The reason for their melting being the fact that the Lord "uttered His voice."

    This is an important truth. The Lord’s greatest weapon is his word, the Truth. With various truths (coming to light) he is upsetting all error (most importantly those long held and cherished errors held by the professing church), and thereby destroying the systems which promote those errors. In Verse 5, however, David expands the thought and says that they "melted like wax."

    How does wax melt? It becomes pliable first; it bends and yields.

    It is in this manner that earth’s governments are losing their power, their form. As society heats up, the governments yield (melt) to meet the demands of the people. In harmony with this we have seen the rise of socialism, reform legislation, etc., all since the Lord’s Second Advent.

    But the Psalmist says more. They melt "at the presence of the LORD." What a blessed word is this word "presence." It refers to God’s face which symbolically represents His favor. The word "presence" is first found in Gen 3:8 when man fell from Divine presence or favor. Chronologically that was the beginning of the 6,000 years of sin and death. But Peter used the Greek equivalent of the word in Acts 3:19, "times of refreshing shall come from the PRESENCE (face, favor) of the Lord." Peter was referring to the 7th thousand- year day. It is to this same event that Verse 5 refers. Indeed, what David is saying is that the melting mountains are a sign of God’s favor!

    Now we find a repetition. Repetitions of words or phrases of scripture are important. Why does David repeat the thought thus: "at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth"?

    He is stressing a point. The Lord’s face (favor or "presence") has been toward the Church ever since Pentecost. But now something new has happened. For the first time since Gen 3:8, God s face (favor or "presence") is turned toward all mankind. Now he is "Lord of the whole earth." This is what Peter was saying in Acts 3.

    Peter added that this return of face or favor would be demonstrated by an act; that act would be the sending of Jesus Christ at his second advent. Therefore the first thing lost was the first restored: The Favor (Face or Presence) of God. That was the beginning of restitution!”

    “As David stated, the people "tremble" at the lightnings (truths) which reveal the presence (Greek: Parousia) of the new King; and the "Mountains" melt "like wax" at his presence. These thoughts are very revealing, and it is most essential to keep them in mind if we are to understand clearly all that is involved in the second coming and thousand year reign of Christ. He returns to reign.

    The Apostle Paul explains that he must reign until all enemies are put under his feet, "and the last enemy to be destroyed is death." (1 Cor. 15:25-26) We are glad that the great enemy Death is to be destroyed; but there are other enemies as well which are to be destroyed by the reign of Christ, and among these are the "kingdoms of this world." It is these that are referred to by the prophet as the "Mountains" which melt like wax at the presence of the Lord.

    More specific on this point is the prophecy of Psalm 2:8, 9. "Ask of me," Jehovah says to his beloved Son, "and I shall give thee the heathen [nations] for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel."

    It is apparent from this and other prophecies that the beginning of Christ's reign on earth is marked by a worldwide upheaval of "civilization" in which the kingdoms and governments of this world, one after another, are destroyed. Obviously, such a condition, as this would cause the people to "tremble," and not at first understanding the real cause of the trouble, it is very true that so far as the world is concerned the presence of the new King is in "clouds and darkness" -- that is, they do not know that the overthrow of the world is due to the fact that a new King, even Christ, has taken unto himself his great power, and has begun his reign. -- Rev. 11:15, 17-18

    But while "lightnings" associated with the presence of the Lord first of all precipitates a storm of human passions which destroys the old world order, they symbolize much more than this. As we have seen, the Scriptures indicate clearly that the primary thought is that of enlightenment -- indeed, it is through the enlightenment of the people that the world is brought to an end. This prophetic enlightenment in the last days of Satan's world is described by the Prophet Daniel as an increase of knowledge, accompanied by much and rapid travel over the earth -- a worldwide "running to and fro." (Dan. 12:4) And Daniel associates this increase of knowledge with a great "time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation." (Dan. 12:1) Thus in plain language the prophet tells us of the same sequence of events described by the Psalmist as the "lightnings" which enlighten the world, causing the people to tremble and the governments to "melt."

    Continued with next post.
     
  6. Harvest 1874

    Harvest 1874 Active Member

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    Psalm 97, Part 6

    VERSE 6-10The heavens declare His righteousness, and all the peoples see His glory. Let all be put to shame who serve carved images, who boast of idols. Worship Him, all you gods. Zion hears and is glad, and the daughters of Judah rejoice Because of Your judgments, O Lord. For You, Lord, are most high above all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods. You, who love the Lord, hate evil! He preserves the souls of His saints; He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.”

    “These verses at first seem rather disconnected and unrelated. Without the aid of Brother Russell’s foresight relating to the harvest experiences of the Church, these verses would be impossible to interpret. And perhaps without an incident related by Daniel they would have to remain obscure. But with these helps they are one or the delights of harvest period prophecy.

    The verses we have just considered detail the Lord’s work in the establishing of His power through the destruction of Satan’s empire. Verses 6 through 10 seem to represent the final stand of earth’s rulers and the ultimate deliverance of the Church. Perhaps the best way to understand these five verses is to paraphrase them before linking them to another typical event.

    We freely paraphrase thus:

    Verse 6 In the midst of earth’s turmoil the true Church is declaring that God is righteous in permitting the present confusion. The fact that the Church will continue to do this will result ultimately in the people’s understanding of the Lord’s power and purpose.

    Verse 7 Mankind’s rulers (both civil and religious) will yet persist in pride and will force all men to conform to the dictates of church and state as they strive to retain their idol, the old order, the status quo. But to the true Church, the only way is to worship Him and not the images of man’s folly (governments and religious institutions).

    Verse 8 Zion (the true Church) knew that a dark night (the great time of trouble, more specifically the, the “hour of trialRev 3:10) was coming in which she would be threatened to cease her work (Rev 13:17). So, she was glad because she knew she was on the threshold of the peaceable kingdom and that those who threatened her were under the judgments of God.

    Verse 9 Zion knew that in this final experience God would be exalted above all other powers.

    Verse 10 Therefore Zion persisted in her work, hating the evil order which commanded her to stop. And when that evil order thought it would destroy Zion, it only hastened her miraculous deliverance. Thus was the Lord glorified.

    Compare this, brethren, with the account of the golden image on the plain of Dura found in Daniel 3. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had all been examples among the Babylonians of the grace of God. Then the king set up an image (Compare Rev 13:1, 5- 17) and commanded that all conform to a service set for its worship. The three Hebrews refused and were sentenced to destruction in a fiery furnace. They were miraculously delivered after which the king exalted God above all others: "There is no other God that can deliver after this sort." Dan 3:29

    VERSE 11 and 12Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.”

    It seems probable, then, that Psalm 97 includes all the pertinent details of the closing days of the old order and of the final experiences of the Church in the flesh. In its closing verses the Psalmist shows the character of the order to come: Light in place of darkness; gladness in place of trembling; and rejoicing for all. But we are Zion! And this (knowledge) is our present joy, ahead of the world of mankind! Yea! We have heard! And we rejoice because of Thy judgments, O Lord!”

    “At present "clouds and darkness" are round about the earth's new King and the people of the world do not realize the meaning of events which have been precipitated by his second presence. But concerning the Lord's own people, that is those who are "NOT in darkness, that that day should overtake them as a thief" in the night, the Psalmist wrote: "Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound (who can distinguish the heavenly message from the deceiving message of Satan): they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance." (1 Thess 5:4; Psa 89:15) Yes, already the light of the Lord's second presence, shining out from the throne, is rejoicing their hearts.

    Meekness, humility, righteousness, sincerity, and a hungering after the truth are essential if we are to be in the right attitude of heart and mind to see and appreciate this great and glorious fact of the Lord's second presence, and that he is already establishing his long-promised kingdom.

    "Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness [the joys of the truth now due] for the upright in heart".
     
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