(Part 6) A Call To Exalt The Lord As King And Righteous Judge Of All The Earth
By Pastor Robbie Casas
b. The Succeeding Call to God’s People to Proclaim God’s Message (v. 10)
Read Ps 96:10: Say among the
nations, "The Lord reigns;
Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved;
He will judge the peoples with equity.”
Once more the psalmist calls God’s people to proclaim yet another message to “the nations,” this time with three parts.
First, “The Lord reigns.” As I had mentioned earlier, the theme of God’s universal reign can also be found in other psalms (Pss 47; 93; 97–99).
This is a categorical statement of the sovereign rule of God over all of creation without any qualification or limitation; the message is simply “The Lord reigns.” This can be deduced from the fact that (1) this was a message to “the nations”, (2) it has an effect on “the world”, and (3) He promises judgment on “the peoples”. A few verses later in vv. 11-12, the whole of creation is included. Ps 103:19: “The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all.”
This is a sobering statement that should shut the mouths of unbelievers all over the world throughout all of history.
Of course, today those who hold positions of power, authority, influence and wealth and who are wielding these for their own wicked purposes scoff at this truth. But the time will come when, in the end, it will be God who will scoff at them. See what the following psalms say about this. Ps 2:1-5: “1 Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, 3 ‘Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!’ 4 He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them. 5 Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury….” Ps 37:12-15: “12 The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes at him with his teeth. 13 The Lord laughs at him, for He sees his day is coming. 14 The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bow to cast down the afflicted and the needy, to slay those who are upright in conduct. 15 Their sword will enter their own heart, and their bows will be broken.” Ps 59:7-8: “7 Behold, they belch forth with their mouth; swords are in their lips, for, they say, ‘Who hears?’ 8 But You, O Lord, laugh at them; You scoff at all the nations.”
But even among ordinary unbelievers, the mere thought of having someone reign over them to whom they must submit and obey, and to whom they will be answerable for all their motives, thoughts and deeds is actually repulsive to them and would easily awaken rebellion deep in their hearts. Look at God’s charge against unbelieving Babylon in Isa 47:10: “10 You felt secure in your wickedness and said, ‘No one sees me,’ your wisdom and your knowledge, they have deluded you; or you have said in your heart,‘I am, and there is no one besides me.’” Listen to God’s condemnation of the rebellious even among His own people in Isa 29:15: “Woe to those who deeply hide their plans from the Lord, and whose deeds are done in a dark place, and they say, ‘Who sees us?’ or ‘Who knows us?’”
But no matter how much unbelievers ignore, deny or rebel against the sovereign rule of God, nothing can and will ever change the fact that “The LORD reigns.”
On the other hand, for true believers in Christ, this truth is one of the most comforting about God in all of Scripture. You see, it is not enough for God to be loving, gracious, merciful and good, because if He was not sovereignly reigning over the whole of creation, there would be many things that could limit the full exercise of His love, grace, mercy and goodness toward us. It is precisely because in His sovereignty “The LORD reigns” that He is able to “[cause] all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28).
What immeasurable comfort this truth brings especially during this crisis when the world is brought to its knees by a virus that is wreaking havoc not only on health but also on the economies of the world! How our hearts can find rest in the face of the multitudes of theories or reports of man-made conspiracies! Beloved in Christ, OUR GOD REIGNS AND HE REIGNS SUPREMELY! There is nothing outside the sovereign rule of God our Father!
Second, because “The Lord reigns,” “[i]ndeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved.” The word “indeed” which means “truly, really” and is added by the psalmist for emphasis. Because “The Lord reigns”, “the world (truly) is firmly established, it will not be moved.” The Heb. word for “world” refers to the earth (as a planet). So God’s reign is not only limited to the nations; it extends to the physical planet earth. And His sovereign reign is what keeps it “firmly established, (so that) it will not be moved” by anything – except, of course, if God Himself decides to move it.
Third, since “The LORD reigns,” implied is His kingship over His subjects. As King, He is also therefore judge over those He rules. Hence, “He will judge the peoples….” This implies that “the peoples” deserve to be judged because of the fact that they are all sinners.
But as a holy King and Judge, “He will judge… with equity” – the word “equity” can be translated as “uprightness” or “righteously” (KJV/NKJV). This is definitely something that is yet future but will definitely come to pass at the return of the Lord Jesus (v. 13). Because of the eschatological timing of this judgment, “with equity” would then mean that there will be those who will be judged for eternal punishment and those for eternal reward. I will comment more on this in the last verse.
So here we see again God’s main agenda repeated by the psalmist in his second call to God’s people to proclaim His message to “the nations”.