This psalm, like the rest of the Bible, is built on the assumption that God is. For some people, this comes quickly. For others, it seems to be an impossibility. Then, there are also those who say there is God, but have no real interest in the matter until a crisis of need or loss takes place in their life. This message is not designed to prove the existence of God. Rather, it is for the purpose of showing the benefits of knowing God.
Psalm 97 starts out by declaring that there is order in the universe because of God. This is supposed to bring joy and gladness to people's hearts. This is supposed to get people talking. Those who don't believe the evidence which is found in God's creation are supposed to be hearing from those who do believe.
See Psalm 96:1-13; 19:1-14; 145:1-21; Romans 1:14-20; 10:9-17).
Creator and Destroyer of the Earth - Psalm 97:1-6
Knowing God as our creator gives us a sense of direction (Psalm 100). Knowing God as the righteous judge and future destroyer of the earth gives us a sense of urgency (II Peter 3:10-14). This may seem unpleasant, but it is actually a blessing to know what's going on and where we stand.
See Psalm 1:1-6; 2:1-12; 32:1-2; 130:3-4;I Thessalonians 1:9-10.
Solitary, Supreme and Sovereign - Psalm 97:7-9
The universe operates with single-party politics. More precisely, it is a monarchy - a theocracy. God is self-existing and sustaining. He needs no one and doesn't ask for help. God is not competing for supremacy. He has no rivals. People who seek after systems of deities, or just worship some other god don't stand a chance! If the gods, created by men and demons, were real, they would be told to worship the one and only true God. Otherwise, Psalm 97:7 is a call to angels and demons to worship God. It is a blessing to be delivered from the confusion of the world's religions and to know the true God.
See Psalm 115:1-8; Deuteronomy 32:16-18; I Corinthians 10:19-22; Isaiah 42:8; 45:21-23; Philippians 2:5-11).
Deliverer from Evil, Sower of Light, Holy and Good - Psalm 97:10-12
God could justifiably be in the damning business only. But God has, at this time, chosen to be in the saving business. The world is dark and full of lies. But God is sending forth light - revealing Himself by His Spirit and by His Word. Truth has come, so that we might be saved from sin and destruction. Because God is holy, we can trust His promises. He will not change His mind. He is not like the other gods that men worship. The Son of God has come that we might know God. He paid for our sins by His death on the cross. He is risen from the dead to show the Father’s acceptance of that payment and to continue His ministry as our Shepherd, bringing us safely home. It is a blessing to know that God is good, holy, loving and willing to save us from our sin!
See Psalm 3:8; 22:1-31; cf: Matthew 27:46; John 10:11; Psalm 23:1-6; 27:1-6,13-14; Isaiah 46:9-10; 55:1-11; 60:1-3; John 3:16-21; 5:24; 10:1-18, 27-30; 14:1-6, 16-23; Acts 26:13-18; Ephesians 1:3-7; I John 5:9-12; Romans 8:28-39; Hebrews 13:20-21.
Are we thankful for God?
What would the world be like without Him?
(Not that we could have a world without Him!)
What would your life be like without Him?
(Not that you would have a life without Him!)
Is God a god, the God, or your God?
See Psalm 63:1-7