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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

October 03 2023

“The LORD our God is Holy”

Psalm 99:1-9

1 The LORD reigns; Let the peoples tremble! He dwells between the cherubim; Let the earth be moved!

2 The LORD is great in Zion, And He is high above all the peoples.

3 Let them praise Your great and awesome name-- He is holy.

4 The King's strength also loves justice; You have established equity; You have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.

5 Exalt the LORD our God, And worship at His footstool-- He is holy.

6 Moses and Aaron were among His priests, And Samuel was among those who called upon His name; They called upon the LORD, and He answered them.

7 He spoke to them in the cloudy pillar; They kept His testimonies and the ordinance He gave them.

8 You answered them, O LORD our God; You were to them God-Who-Forgives, Though You took vengeance on their deeds.

9 Exalt the LORD our God, And worship at His holy hill; For the LORD our God is holy.

Psalm 99 is the sixth of the "royal psalms" (Psalms 93, 95-100), all of which magnify the sovereign rule of Jehovah the King. Like Psalms 93 and 97, it opens with "The Lord reigns," and it emphasizes that Jehovah is exalted above all the nations (v. 2) and not just Israel.

This is another of what is called the theocratic psalms, or the coronation psalms which ring with earth's hallelujahs because, at long last, the King has come. This psalm looks first at the future (vv. 1-3), then at the present (vv. 4-5), then at the past (vv. 6-9). It views the LORD as the One who is to come, as the One who is, and as the One who was—the One who occupies all the tenses of time. This is the One that sits upon the throne, eternal, almighty, and holy.

Psalm 99 easily divides into three parts because each section ends with a similar declaration phrase, (vv. 1-3) “He is holy”, (vv. 4-5) “He is holy”, and verses 6-9, “For the LORD our God is holy”. It shows us that the One who sits upon the throne is prophet, priest, and king. In Israel men were anointed for each of these ministries. Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the anointed One.

The psalmist describes the throne of the Lord and twice he encourages the people to “exalt the Lord” as they worship Him (vv. 5, 9). First, he describes the LORD’s throne as “awesome” (vv. 1-3). Jehovah sits upon the throne in heaven (Psalms 9:11; 110:2; 146:10), but in the psalmist's day, He was also enthroned on the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies of the sanctuary on Mount Zion (Psalm 80:1; 1 Sam. 4:4; 2 Sam. 6:2; 2 Kings 19:15; 1 Chron. 13:6). It was there that God's glory rested, and from there God spoke to Moses and ruled the nation of Israel (Num. 7:89). God chose the Jews to be His vehicle for telling the Gentile nations about the true and living God, and God chose Mount Zion to be His dwelling place.

The prophet Isaiah saw the heavenly throne (Isaiah 6) and so did the prophet Ezekiel (Ezek. 1). The name LORD is used seven times in this psalm, for God made His covenant with Israel alone and they were His special people. Jesus told the woman at the well that "Salvation is of the Jews" (John 4:22). When the Gentiles beheld what God did for Israel, they should have trembled with awe and put their trust in Him (Psalm 96:9; 114:7).

God's throne is awesome because He is holy (Leviticus 11:44-45; 1 Peter 1:15-16). "The Holy One of Israel" is a name found thirty times in the book of Isaiah. The word "holy" means "separate, set apart, totally different." God's nature is "wholly other," yet He was willing to dwell with His people and meet their needs.

Jesus Christ is Jehovah; the Great I AM! He came down to us that we might come up to our holy God! Hebrews 4:14-16 reminds us that because of Him we have access to God in our time of need! “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Today, and every day, come into His presence with awe and worship Him!

God bless!

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