Psalms for Troubled Times – Psalm 99a

a 2 min read


Worship at His Footstool

This is the third of three psalms in Book 4 of the psalter (Psalm 90-106) that begin ‘The LORD reigneth”, and each leads us onward.

In Psalm 93, we considered the LORD as the heavenly King presently, and even whilst the kings of this earth rage against Him, He is in control. Psalm 97 leads us forward to consider Christ as the promised King, coming now in might and majesty to destroy His enemies.

In this Psalm, we see Christ as the King of Kings, victorious, having ‘put down all rule and all authority and power’ (1 Cor 15:24).

There is no mention of the wicked or rebellious at all in this psalm. We have now moved into the Millenial reign of Christ, where Christ reigns supreme. Let’s have a look at the first half, which ends with the call to ‘worship at His footstool’.

‘The LORD reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved. The LORD is great in Zion; and he is high above all the people. Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy. The king’s strength also loveth judgment; thou dost establish equity, thou executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob. Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.’ (v1-5)

The psalmist takes us first to the throne-room of the King, and this is no earthly throne. As we catch sight of those cherubims, we rightly begin to tremble, for we know this is the divine throne.

Exodus 24:10 tells us that the throne of God is set upon sapphire, a blue gem, and it is another reminder that His throne is heavenly.

Next we are introduced to His realm, the royal city of Zion; and His subjects, the people. In comparison to them, indeed to all on earth, His exaltation is high.

Then we are brought to consider His name, that which would tell us something of His character. And if certain earthly Kings are given appellations to mark distinctions – Edward the Confessor, Alfred the Great, and my personal favourite Æthelred the Unready – truely the King of Kings deserves a fitting appellation. We might choose ‘Great’ or ‘Glorious’ or even ‘Gracious’, but when it comes to the LORD upon His heavenly throne (consider Isaiah 6), there is one characteristic that stands out – His name is Holy.

If the LORD is holy in His character, verse 4 tells us how this works itself out in the practicalities of His rule: just, fair, righteous. You could say that His rule is honest.

When we consider all of this, like Isaiah when he ‘saw the LORD, high and lifted up’ (Isa 6:1), our only response is humility.

There is a difference though between ourselves and the LORD’s people on earth during His Millenial Kingdom. Their worship will be an earthly worship, for they are told to ‘worship at His footstool’, and Isaiah reminds us: ‘Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool’ (Isa 66:1)

For us, our worship, by God’s grace, is a heavenly worship, for we are ‘come unto Mount Zion … the heavenly Jerusalem’ (Hebs 12:22), but more of that tomorrow.

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