God’s Eternal Reign

The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved. Your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting” (vv. 1–2).

- Psalm 93

Psalm 19 begins by asserting that the heavens proclaim the glories of God (v.1), showing that creation’s purpose is to declare the goodness and majesty of its Creator. Yet, the physical world is not alone in being tasked with extolling and revealing the Lord’s glory. As we see throughout Scripture, those whom God has redeemed have the privilege of singing His praises. Those who serve the triune Creator are a chosen people who “proclaim the excellencies of him who called [us] out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

In today’s passage, we find a model for praising the Lord for His sovereign reign, particularly as it is exemplified in His rule as the Creator. Our Lord is “robed in majesty” and “has put on strength as his belt” (Ps. 93:1). What is the evidence of His kingly office? The creation itself. God’s world has been established and will never be moved (v. 2). This does not mean our universe will continue in its present state forever, as we know that there is a new heaven and earth coming where righteousness reigns (2 Peter 3:13). Instead, the psalmist is speaking of God’s sovereign rule over all. Other ancient Near Eastern religions believed creation was subject to the reign of competing and chaotic powers, but the God revealed in Scripture has no rivals. Since He has established His throne over creation itself, nothing falls outside His sovereign decree. We can trust Him forever because He controls all (Eph. 1:11).

All creation testifies to the Creator’s sovereign reign, but the people of God have the distinct privilege of witnessing to His rule over the universe. After declaring the Lord’s power over the waters, which were symbolic of chaos in the ancient world, the psalmist looks to the decrees of God. The reference is to His revealed commandments, which are the means by which He exercises His rule over His people. Our Lord’s law goes hand in hand with His presence among His people in His house—the Jerusalem temple under the old covenant, the church under the new covenant. As the people of God humble themselves before Him and seek to obey His covenant law in the power of the Spirit, they show forth His just reign in a manner that makes all people take notice. John Calvin comments, “The divine goodness is displayed in every part of the world, but the psalmist justly considers it as of all others the most inestimable blessing, that God should have deposited in his church the covenant of eternal life, and made his glory principally to shine out of it.”

Coram Deo

Obeying the law of God is certainly not the means by which we are found righteous in His sight. However, we do grow in holiness as we seek to fulfill His commandments. Moreover, the holiness of the church in its obedience to God is a testimony to the world that He is the just and good King. If the church would have a credible witness to the world, it must obey the Lord and repent whenever it fails to honor Him.

Passages for Further Study

Deuteronomy 4:1–8
Isaiah 42:6–7
Matthew 5:13–16
John 12:46

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