Let the Earth Rejoice! (Psalm 97:1) - Radical

Let the Earth Rejoice! (Psalm 97:1)

The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice. Let the many coastlands be glad.
– Psalm 97:1

Ah, I love the way this psalm starts with these three words, “The Lord reigns.” God rules over all. God reigns over all. God is sovereign over all. He has all authority and all the universe, that all belongs to the Lord, so let the earth rejoice.

Psalm 97:1 Shows Us We Should be Encouraged by the Lord’s Reign

Oh, just picture it. So many things on the earth. So many things in this world that are heartbreaking, that are evil and sinful. Think about wars on the earth. I think about natural disasters in the world. I think about disease, cancer, in the world, and so many things on the earth that are reason for despair, but to hear Psalm 97 pronounce over and above it all, “The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice.” Why? Because the Lord reigns over cancer. Because there’s a Lord who reigns over disease, that there’s a Lord who reigns over natural disasters, and there’s a Lord who reigns over war and reigns over sin and sinners.
Let the earth rejoice because the Lord reigns over it all, that no matter how much things may look like they are out of control, they are ultimately under His control and He will bring about ultimate justice and He will bring about ultimate righteousness, so let the earth rejoice, let the many coastlands be glad, and I would just encourage you, even as my own heart is encouraged by this reality today amidst things in our lives that may look like cause for despair, amidst things in our lives that may look like things are out of control, to know that the Lord reigns over it all.

Psalm 97:1 Should Ignite Praise, Joy and Hope in Us

If the God who loves you and me, who has sent His Son to save you and me, who has promised that in this world we will have tribulation, but has told us to take heart because He has overcome this world, that He will one day bring an end to injustice and sin and sorrow and suffering and disease and death itself will be no more, He is the one who reigns over it all, and as a result we, along with all the earth, have a reason to rejoice.

Oh God, I pray for that joy, especially over hurting hearts right now. I pray for your peace that comes from you reigning overall, peace that passes all understanding to guard hearts and minds in Christ Jesus right now. We are so thankful, oh God, that you reign over all, that you are Lord over everything.
God, we praise you as the sovereign king and Lord over all creation. We’re so thankful that you, with infinite wisdom and infinite power and infinite love, infinite holiness, that you are the Lord over it all, that we are not, and so we say together today, we trust in you. We trust in you, and we rejoice in you. Lord, we rejoice. We trust in your lordship overall, and we rejoice in your lordship overall.

Praying for Russia and Ukraine

And God, we pray for the spread of your peace and your joy, especially in dark places in the world. When we think about war between Russia and Ukraine right now, God, we pray, show the people groups of Russia and Ukraine, God, your peace, your joy, that are found in Jesus alone.

God, we pray that over places of unrest all around the world, over every people group that’s yet to be reached with the good news of Jesus’ lordship over all, the one who’s conquered sin and death for us. God, we pray the name of Jesus would be known among all the nations, that all the nations might rejoice with the earth at the reality that you reign.

We pray all of this in light of your word in Psalm 97:1. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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