The Expository Files.

 The Certain Majesty of God

Psalm 93

We must never doubt the Lord's strength, nor should we lack confidence in His wisdom or purpose. There is a hymn which proclaims "Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!" Those who live by faith possess assurance.

Sometimes, the world tries to make us lose sight of our reason for gladness. Through ordeals that we must face because we live in a fallen world, it may be that we sometimes allow our hope to grow dim. When we face persecution. When we suffer loss. When our health fails. When sin in the world seems so strong and God's truth is maligned. It is times like these that we especially need to remember Who it is that has declared "I will not forsake you, nor will I ever desert you," so that we may confidently declare to the world, "The Lord is my helper, I shall not be afraid." (Hebrews 13:5,6).

The Text
"The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty;
The Lord has clothed and girded Himself with strength;
Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved.
Thy throne is established from of old;
Thou art from everlasting.
The floods have lifted up, O LORD,
The floods have lifted up their voice;
The floods have lifted up their pounding waves.
More than the sounds of many waters,
Than the mighty breakers of the sea,
The LORD on high is mighty.
Thy testimonies are fully confirmed;
Holiness befits Thy house, O LORD, forever more.
(Psalm 93).

The Lord's Reign
"The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty... Thy throne is established from of old..." (Psalm 93:1a;2a).

When did the Lord's reign begin? In one sense, it had no beginning, but is as eternal as He is. In the New Testament we read, "Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever." (Hebrews 1:8). The LORD God reigns supreme in His universe. There is no power above Him. He is the source of all authority and dominion. Even in the darkest of times, the Lord has not abdicated His throne; He still sits upon it, observes, and takes action as he determines according to the intention of His will. For example, the book of Revelation was written during a time of extreme persecution against the church. God's people were suffering much, and perhaps were wondering why God did not act. The very first scene in this great apocalyptic vision is that of God still on His throne allowing mankind time to repent before intervening. John writes that he saw "A throne standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. And He who was sitting was like jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance." (Revelation 4:2,3).

Never cease to doubt God's eternal rule in His universe, no matter how dark the hour; nor never cease to allow Him to rule in your heart. He cannot be removed from His heavenly throne, but He will not rule from the throne of your heart without your yielding it to Him.

The Lord's Strength
"The LORD has clothed and girded Himself with strength... The LORD on high is mighty." (Psalm 93:1b;4b).

Paul wrote, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13). We must believe that God is powerful and have confidence that He is able to do all that is necessary to see us safely home.

There was once a man who made a request of Jesus, His request showed at least two things; it showed that he had faith while at the same time it showed that his faith was not all that it could and should have been. It was a request made by a father for his son who was severely afflicted. The father asked, "But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us!" to which Jesus replied, "'If you can!' All things are possible to him who believes." The father responded, "I do believe, help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:22-24).

With God, it is not a matter of "can He?" though it is sometimes a matter of His divine plan, will and purpose. Concerning our salvation, God is able. John once told the multitudes that if it were according to His purpose, "God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham." (Matthew 3:9). He is able to always provide a way of escape from temptation. He is able to guard that which we commit to Him until that day. He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. He is able to do exceedingly beyond all we ask for or think (1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 2:18; Ephesians 3:20).

The Lord's Purpose
"Indeed the world is firmly established, it will not be moved." (Psalm 93:1c).

You get the feeling it was a "done deal" from the beginning when you read the Bible. It was. From the first announcement of what would become known as the plan of redemption in the garden of Eden following the fall to its fulfillment in Jesus of Nazareth, it was predestined. Nothing could alter or change it, though Satan tried. He tried to mislead the people of the promise, and though all too successful, he could not derail the plan. He tried to destroy them during Esther's day, but failed. The Messiah would be brought forth from the Hebrew nation. God's promises do not fail.

The church of Christ exists today because God's purpose cannot be thwarted by any power, mans' or angelic. The world has been firmly set; it would allow for redemption to take place, and its history records that God's plan for human redemption was fulfilled by Jesus on the cross "in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church... this was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Ephesians 3:10,11; cf. 2 Timothy 1:9).

The Lord's Timelessness
"Thou art from everlasting." (Psalm 93:2b).

God is eternal. He has no beginning or end. He is the first cause. There would be nothing if not for the fact of God's existence and purpose.

God greatly desires all to be saved, and patiently and mercifully grants men time to repent. By man's reckoning, God has granted us a long time; almost two thousand years since His Son promised to return. Why do believers still believe the promise after all this time?

Because God is eternal. It has not been either a long time or a short time to Him. He is timeless. "With the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:8,9).

The Lord's Testimonies
"Thy testimonies are fully confirmed" (Psalm 93:5a).

When the Lord says a thing, you can believe it completely. This is yet another reason for the Christian's confidence even when the days are evil. As James pointed out, "Behold, we count as blessed those who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord's dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and merciful." (James 5:11).

Like Job, we hold fast our integrity. We await the day of our vindication and redemption. We do not doubt that the final outcome of the Lord's dealings with us will be abundant blessing. We do not waver "for He who promised is faithful." (Hebrews 10:23). The hope we have is an anchor for our souls, sure and steadfast (Hebrews 6:19).

The Lord's House
"Holiness befits Thy house, O LORD, forevermore." (Psalm 93:5b).

We are God's household. We are His temple. Our hearts provide Him a throne from which He rules our lives and gives us peace which passes understanding.

Holy and righteous conduct is the only proper standard of behavior for the Christian in every circumstance, for we are God's dwelling place (1 Corinthians 6:15-20).

It is a great realization to know of God's presence in our lives. We need such confidence as this brings. We need to be able to face life head on without anxiety or rage or despair. In Christ we "are being built together into a dwelling place of God" (Ephesians 2:22). The Carpenter from Nazareth is still at work!

 By Jon W. Quinn
From Expository Files 4.11; November 1997