God’s Holiness and Mercy-Psalm 99:1-9

Psalm 99:1-9 “The Lord reigns, let the nations tremble; he sits enthroned between the cherubim, let the earth shake. 2 Great is the Lord in Zion; he is exalted over all the nations. 3 Let them praise your great and awesome name — he is holy. 4 The King is mighty, he loves justice — you have established equity; in Jacob you have done what is just and right. 5 Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his footstool; he is holy. 6 Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel was among those who called on his name; they called on the Lord and he answered them. 7 He spoke to them from the pillar of cloud; they kept his statutes and the decrees he gave them. 8 O Lord our God, you answered them; you were to Israel a forgiving God, though you punished their misdeeds. 9 Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his holy mountain, for the Lord our God is holy.”

Salmo 99:1-9 «Il Signore regna: tremino i popoli. Egli siede sui cherubini: la terra è scossa. Il Signore è grande in Sion, eccelso sopra tutti i popoli.Lodino essi il tuo nome grande e tremendo. Egli è santo. Lodino la forza del Re che ama la giustizia; sei tu che hai stabilito il diritto, che hai esercitato in Giacobbe il giudizio e la giustizia. Esaltate il Signore, il nostro Dio, e prostratevi davanti allo sgabello dei suoi piedi. Egli è santo.Mosè e Aaronne tra i suoi sacerdoti, e Samuele fra quanti invocavano il suo nome, invocarono il Signore, ed egli rispose loro. Parlò loro dalla colonna della nuvola; essi osservarono le sue testimonianze e gli statuti che diede loro. Tu li esaudisti, o Signore, Dio nostro! Fosti per loro un Dio clemente, pur castigandoli per le loro cattive azioni. Esaltate il Signore, il nostro Dio, e adorate sul suo monte santo, perché il Signore, il nostro Dio, è santo.»

     This is one of many Psalms of praise. There are two themes addressed here: praise to God for His holiness and for His mercy. The picture of the Lord reigning from His throne is described but it is still beyond our total comprehension. It is said twice in verses 3 and 5 that “he is holy.” Only when we sit at His footstool in Heaven will we fully grasp the awesome presence of His holiness. 

     The second half of this Psalm describes God’s mercy to His people. Without God’s mercy, we would receive the wrath of His righteous judgment. Without His mercy, no one could stand in His holy presence. Three biblical characters, Moses, Aaron and Samuel are presented as examples of how God showed His mercy in answering prayer. God spoke to them because of His great mercy to Israel. Even when Israel sinned, His love and mercy never ceased. Job, who suffered more than any of us will ever experience, was said to have received the mercy and compassion of the Lord (James 5:11). How gracious is our God who continually works in us as we call upon His holy name and receive His daily mercy. 

      Therefore, we should exalt (meaning to raise up) and praise God every day because He willingly extends His mercy to those who fear Him.

Pray with me: Lord, I am grateful that you are a holy and merciful God. Thank You for Your gracious and compassionate mercy as I daily call on Your name.

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