Scripture: Psalm 96
Key verse: (12) let the field exult, and everything in it.
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
Reflection: I like a little whimsy and this psalm has plenty of it. Not to say it isn’t serious, the psalm offers the most serious theological thought: The Lord Reigns! The psalm declares unequivocally that the earth belongs to the Lord and his throne is firmly established, never to be moved.
Think about how we like to brag about who is in the congregation (one friend loves to remind me about a well known celebrity in his church). Well, in God’s congregation strength and beauty are members (v.6) not to mention honour, majesty, and glory. Beat that! God is described as judge and ruler and everyone does and ought to tremble before him.
So where is the whimsy?
Look again at how creation is described: seas roar, heavens are glad, fields exult, trees and forests sing for joy. It is a poetic scene that Van Gogh (no stranger to whimsy) could maybe capture, but how might it look for you this morning? As you go about your day do you see how God’s creation is responding to the news that the Lord Reigns? Get your whimsy on and see what praise and joy might be surrounding you this very moment.
But before you go, let me note that the psalm is doing holy math. The word praise is used fourteen times and the word all is used seven. It is the psalmist reminding us that wholeness (seven represents completeness, seven times two is double wholeness!) is found by praising and that everyone and everything (all) has reason to praise. The Lord reigns above you but, also and always, for you. The Lord reigns in all times and for all time. The Lord reigns even when it feels like all hell has broken loose, maybe especially so. The Lord reigns and it’s worth singing about. That kind of loving power and care helps trees sing and fields exult and seas roar like lions.
How might you respond today?
Prayer: With new songs and timeless truths, I take my place today in creation’s choir to sing your praises, Lord. Through tears or with laughter, in silence or with deep sighs: I praise you. With my heart I love you. With my life I trust you. In Christ, I come to you. Amen.
Author: Derek Macleod
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].