Psalm 99 - He spoke

Psalm 99 - He spoke

Read: Psalm 99 vs 1-9

Church has been part of my life, literally all of my life. I remember when I was very young being in our ‘Children’s Choir’. I was picked to sing a solo. I can still remember standing in the pulpit of our church and warbling my way through a children’s hymn, with my voice and my knees trembling.

Now forty plus years on I come to Psalm 99 and I discover that the word ‘trembling’ is actually not such a bad word when it comes to being in a place of worship, in fact it is a good word, a Bible word.

In the days of Moses and Aaron, in the book of Exodus, we read of the moment when God gave His people the Ten Commandments. In awesome and unforgettable scenes, Exodus 20 vs 18 tells us that God spoke to the people, amidst thunder, lightning smoke and trumpet blasts. We’re told that when the people saw all this ‘they trembled’.

In the story of Samuel, in the book of 1 Samuel, the story is recorded of how when Samuel, arrived in Bethlehem, the town elders were overcome with fear as to why God’s prophet was wanting to speak to them, and we’re told they ‘trembled’.

When you are familiar with church, familiar with singing, prayer and reading the Bible it can be very easy to confidently, and without much thought, land into God’s presence. Short of being asked to sing a solo we have little sense of ‘trembling’ when we lift our eyes or our voices to God.

Psalm 99 stops us in our tracks with a call not just for individuals, but for the entire gathering of nations, to ‘tremble’ (vs 1) before the LORD. In scenes reminiscent of Isaiah chapter 6, God is pictured as reigning in the midst of angels, as the whole earth shakes in awe in the face of His holiness (vs 1, 3).

This Psalm specifically links back to the stories of Moses and Aaron and of Samuel (vs 6), examples of how God is awesome and holy. It is this same God that we are called to worship today. As we grow in our Christian faith, we do not grow out of trembling before God, in many ways it is something we grow into (Romans 11:20) as we grow in Him.

Prayer: Lord, You reign. Thank You that You are a forgiving God and that we can bow before You in worship. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.