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Psalms 93 through 100: Messianic Kingdom Psalms


S. Lewis Johnson noted, in a message about Psalm 100 “Global Gladness,” that this Psalm has a context of coming after the “Kingdom Psalms.”  Psalms 93 through 99 are a set of Messianic Kingdom psalms, with many statements concerning the Lord’s ruling and reigning.  I hadn’t noticed this grouping or feature, but in recent reading through these Psalms (list 4) I noticed that these Psalms share several characteristics.  They are shorter psalms, with no author or other background information given, and they do include many statements concerning the Kingdom age.  Several verses explicitly state, in future tense, that “He will judge the world in righteousness” and “he comes to judge the earth.”   Other verses take a future-position looking back (like the prophets sometimes do, transporting themselves into the future and looking back at a scene, such as Isaiah 53):  “You have established equity; you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.”

When you read Psalm 100 you must, of course, pay attention to the context.  And one of the things that impresses you as you study this section of the Psalms is that it really is something like a climax of a series of Psalms that begin with the 93rd.  And the 93rd through the 99th Psalm are Psalms in which the celebration of the kingdom of God is particularly mentioned and brought to the attention of the reader by the Psalmist.  And that’s why I’ve called the subject or the message tonight, “Global Gladness” because this is really the climax of a series of Psalms about the kingdom of God.

Notice for example in Psalm 93 in verse 1, the clause the Lord reigneth.  And then turn over to Psalm 96 and verse 10.  “Say among the nations or the heathen that the Lord reigneth.”  In chapter 97 in verse 1, “The Lord reigneth.”  In chapter 99 in verse 1, ‘The Lord reigneth.”  So here is a series of Psalms beginning with Psalm 93 through Psalm 99 that have to do with the enthronement of the Lord God.  And if you were to read all of these Psalms you would notice that the enthronement is the enthronement of the Lord God not only over the land of Israel but over all the lands of the earth.  So in Psalm 100 when we have the theme of gladness we put this in the context of the preceding Psalms and it’s the context of a global gladness because of the worldwide reign of the Lord God.  So I tend to think then, as many others, that this is the climax of a series of Psalms that are prophetical of the establishment of the kingdom of God upon the earth.

The kingdom-type statements express God’s sovereignty, His rule over all the earth — and certainly all Christians in this age can delight in the general truth concerning God’s sovereign rule.  But the words indeed take on additional meaning and depth when we consider the reality of our Lord coming to rule and reign upon this Earth in the wonderful Messianic Kingdom age to come.  The promise that “He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel.  All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.” awaits the wonderful enthronement of the Lord God.

This particular Psalm (Psalm 100) would be unmeaning apart from this kingdom truth.  It would be difficult to find any point in “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye earth.  Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.”  What would be the point of saying, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, Yahweh, all the earth,” unless the Lord is reigning over all the earth?  So what we have then in Psalm 100 I think is very plainly a Psalm that is prophetic of the establishment and the beginning of the kingdom of God upon the earth, and it is a call on the part of the Psalmist for the proper response to the reigning of the king.

Here is a sampling of statements from these Psalms:
Psalm 93:1 —  The Lord reigns; he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed; he has put on strength as his belt.

Psalm 95:1-3 —  Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
3 For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

Psalm 96: 8-13
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts!
9 Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!
10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns! Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.”
11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
12 let the field exult, and everything in it!  Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
13 before the Lord, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.

Psalm 98: 2-4, 8-9
2 The Lord has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.
3 He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
4 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!

8 Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together
9 before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.

Psalm 99:1-5
1 The Lord reigns; let the peoples tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
2 The Lord is great in Zion; he is exalted over all the peoples.
3 Let them praise your great and awesome name!  Holy is he!
4 The King in his might loves justice.  You have established equity; you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.
5 Exalt the Lord our God; worship at his footstool!  Holy is he!

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