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"The LORD reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved. The LORD is great in Zion; and he is high above all the people. Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy. The king's strength also loveth judgment; thou dost establish equity, thou executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob. Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy. Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the LORD, and he answered them. He spake unto them in the cloudy pillar: they kept his testimonies, and the ordinance that he gave them. Thou answeredst them, O LORD our God: thou wast a God that forgavest them, though thou tookest vengeance of their inventions. Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy."


Recent photo of the Preacher and  his wife Sister Norma










The 99th Psalm opens with these words: "The LORD reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved."

What good news!

"The Lord reigneth!"

As this week begins I would like to announce to each of you:  "The Lord is still on His Throne!"

That verb "reigneth" simply means "to be king!"  The Hebrew noun for king is "melek" and the verb "to reign" is "malak."

The first time this exact verb is used in the Bible, Joshua 13:10, a heathen ungodly monarch is in view.  The last time it is used, Micah 4:7, it is Almighty God Who is reigning!

The majesty of God is so awesome, people are said to "tremble."  The verb "ragaz" means to quiver or quake or or be excited. 

This part of our verse, "The LORD reigneth; let the people tremble," reminds me of Isaiah 6.  There Isaiah saw the Lord reigning, sitting on His Throne!  And the Prophet trembled and quaked too!

Next the Lord is beautifully pictured as abiding in the Most Holy Place (either in the earthly tabernacle of Moses or in Heaven itself) actually sitting between the cherubim or angels!  That exact Place is Biblically called "The Mercy Seat!" And it is a Seat for no one but the Lord Himself!  In that exact Place did the High Priest of Israel sprinkle the blood of the lamb each year on the Day of Atonement!  God lives where the Blood is!

"He sitteth between the cherubims."

To this fact even the earth is said to respond!

"Let the earth be moved!"

The noun earth ("eretzs") means the ground, the land or the whole world.

And the verb "moved" (hapax ... used only here in all the Bible) is spelled "nut" (pronounced "noot") and means to shake or to dangle! 

Again, that's what happened in Isaiah 6.  The reigning Lord was observed, Isaiah was shaken and the earth shook!  The "posts of the door" moved at His voice! So recorded the Prophet Isaiah.

The proper response to God's almighty power and supreme position of control is just to ... be amazed!

I do have some good news though.  This great God is one day coming back to earth!  I say coming "back" because God the Son, Jesus Christ, has already been here to die for sinners!

When He returns, the earth will not longer quake!  "Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously."  Psalm 96:10

Instead, Psalm 97:1 declares:  "The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof."

Folks, take comfort today!

The Lord is on His Throne!

Here's a glimpse of such Beauty according to the Old Testament Prophet Micaiah:  "Therefore hear the word of the LORD; I saw the LORD sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left." 2nd Chronicles 18:18


                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Psalm 99, in its second verse, says this: "The LORD is great in Zion; and he is high above all the people."

If ever a verse did, this one exalts the Lord!

In years past, mankind lived in what would have been called a "theocentric" universe. That is, a God-centered world!  Theology, the study of God, was called the "queen" of the sciences.

Things sure have changed!

It is as if God has been demoted!

Man now is on the throne!

Our world today is anthropocentric, man-centered.

Man is his own creator now!  That's basically what godless evolution says.

Man is his own saviour too!  He can handle and solve all his own problems ... that is, if he has any!

The news media, the university systems, political parties (at least some of them), even social life in most so-called modern countries go weeks if not months at a time ignoring Almighty God!

Yes, today's philosophy is the very opposite of John the Baptist's who said of Jesus:  "He must increase, but I must decrease."  John 3:30

Someone recently in America said that those who trusted in Christ Jesus or God the Father were "weak minded," perhaps even "mentally unbalanced," and "not ready to face life in a mature manner!"

What would this heathen crowd say about today's verse, Psalm 99:2?  Again, it reads:  "The LORD is great in Zion; and he is high above all the people."

The Name for God here, the LORD, is "Jehovah."  It appears 6519 times in the Bible!  It is His predominant Name and means "One Who Is!"  That suggests He is eternally existent!  God Himself defined this Name to Moses as "I Am That I Am!"  Exodus 3:14

There is none like Him!  "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me."  Isaiah 46:9

He is "great!"  The Hebrew word "gadol" means large in magnitude and extent. Extreme in intensity and importance.  The first time "gadol" is found in Scripture is Genesis 1:16, where the sun is said to be "the greater light to rule the day."  God is great!  So is the sun!  Isn't is something that the Lord Jesus Christ is compared to the sun several times in the Bible?  Psalm 19 does so as well as Malachi the Prophet.

"Zion" is Jerusalem, particularly its mount on which the Temple rests!  God is said to live there, in the Holy of Holies, on the Mercy Seat, between the Cherubim!  "Zion" grammatically means "a parched place!"  But, with the Lord there, even a desert place can blossom like a rose!  That's exactly what Isaiah said it would do when the Lord returns to earth!  See Isaiah 35:1

Next God is "high" above all the people!  "Rum," pronounced "room," means exalted, uplifted or raised!  It's first Bible occurrence dealt with the Ark of Noah.  "And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth."  The Ark was exalted, it being another Type of Christ Jesus!

The noun for "people" here, in Hebrew "am," usually means people in this sense: one's own kindred, one's own countrymen, one's own nation.  It's not the word usually used for all the tribes of the world.  This exaltation of God is one acknowledged by Israelites, His treasured possession!  The Lord's people yet today should exalt Him constantly!

Born-again friend, today magnify the Lord!

In prayer tell Him that your desire is that He, being in Heaven, will be "hallowed" and "revered" by your life this Tuesday!

Exalt His Name!

Listen to Paul praise this great God:  "Who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen."  1st Timothy 6:15-16

I agree with Paul, "Amen!"

"The LORD is great in Zion; and he is high above all the people."

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




The Lord is Holy!

He is to be feared in His awesome Glory!

He is also to be praised!

So says Psalm 99:3.  "Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy."

The opening words "let them praise" translates one Hebrew verb, "yadah." Here it is an imperative ... revealing that the Psalmist is really issuing a command!  The "them" of our verse indicates all the "people" of the earth.

Let me show you: "The LORD reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved.  The LORD is great in Zion; and he is high above all the people. Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy."  Psalm 99:1-3

The word "yadah" in Hebrew actually means "to throw or to hurl or to cast!"  It is as if a worshipping follower of the Lord wafts a word of praise heavenward from time to time!  Launching words of praise to Glory ... what a thought that is!

The exact action of this verb requires constant ongoing praise too, not just an occasional season of gratefulness!

Praise God's Name!  That means His Person, His Essence, His very Being! "Shem," the noun for "name" in Hebrew, can also mean fame or report or reputation or glory!

To praise God's Name is to glorify Him for all He is!

But our verse today also tells us two things about God's dear Name.  It is great and it is terrible!

Great, "gadol," means large in magnitude and extent.  High, loud, mighty, eldest, important!

The second time the word is used in the Bible, the first time when describing anything living, great sea creatures are being created!  The "whales" are said to be great!  See Genesis 1:21 --- "And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind ...."   This word for "whale" is "tanniyn" and is only translated "whale" 3 times in the Bible.  Of it's 28 appearances, it is rendered "dragon" 21 times and "serpent" 3 times" and "sea monster" 1 time!  Such words usually typify the devil!  God is greater than the enemy!

God's Name is also "terrible."  In Hebrew "yare" means fear!  God is so mighty and so holy and so perfect that He ought to inspire fear and trembling in our souls!  Back to verse one of Psalm 99 --- "The LORD reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved."  These are proper responses to the terrible or revered or adored Name of God!

The often used expression for this awesome feeling is "the fear of the Lord," found some 30 times in the Bible.  Then add 8 more times for "the fear of God."

God's Name is to be praised because He is Holy!  "Qadosh" means "set apart" or sacred!  God is different!  None is like Him!  He is without sin ... without any taint of it! 

And a Holy God created a holy nation, Israel!  Read with me Exodus 19:6 and see the first use of "qadosh" in the Bible:"  "And ye (Israel) shall be unto Me (God) a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation."

God then lives in a Holy Place, the tabernacle! 

The word "qadosh" is 12 times rendered "saints" in the King James Bible!  A Holy God makes His children holy too!

One of the Lord's favorite Names for Himself is ... "the Holy One!" 

The old Puritans used to call our Lord the "thrice Holy" God!  That's due to Isaiah 6:3 and Revelation 4:8 where we read such things as:  "Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory" or "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come."

Today dear Christian brother or sister, settle on some great trait of God, some quality of His Essence ... or some great thing He has done for you lately ... and prayerfully "wing" a word of thanks or praise to him in Heaven!

Loft it upward!

Adore and worship Him!

Put Him first in your life ... even with you busy schedule!

He is worthy!

More precisely, He is Holy and Great and Terrible!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




I call it a Psalm of "Worship."

It uses the word twice in its nine short verses.

Yet Psalm 99 emphasizes something else too.

It incorporates the word "holy" into its Text three times!

Therein is linkage I'm sure!

The Holy God of Heaven rightly expects our worship and adoration.

But then look at one more trait of the 99th Psalm as well.

It accents our lovely Lord in three ways.

In verse 1 He reigns on His Throne.  He is King!

In verse 6 He is among a company of Priests, answering prayer!

And then by the end He is speaking to the people, declaring to them the Word of God, the job of a Prophet!

Jesus is indeed Prophet ... and Priest ... and King!

Look with me at verse 4 to illustrate.  "The king's strength also loveth judgment; thou dost establish equity, thou executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob."  Psalm 99:4

This King is the Lord Himself!

He is strong, but with a strength that is linked to righteousness, not tyranny.

"Strength" (in Hebrew = "oz") is derived from the a verb ("azaz") that means "to be stout."  The first time the word is used in the context of might is Genesis 49:3 where Reuben, Jacob's "strength" is a moral failure!

But our strong God ... is Holy!

"Judgment" is "mishpat" and means the proper verdict rendered by one in authority. Now our Lord, Who is King, is Judge too!  He doles out right decisions.  This word also is used twice in Psalm 99.  God commends Abraham in Genesis 18:19 (first use) because he taught his family to do justice and judgment.  God loves such!

The Lord affirms and sets and ordains ("kun" as a Piel, intensive action being implied) "equity."  Here "meyshar" is a Hebrew noun, occurring only 19 times in all the Bible!   It means evenness.  God treats all by the same standard! No favoritism exists here.  Strangely, the word is plural too!  God's fair dealings proliferate.  No exceptions!  It can also mean "straight" in the sense of "not crooked!" 

To "execute" (Hebrew = "asah") means to do or to make or to accomplish or to fashion!  The King is again dispensing right verdicts and demanding righteousness ("tzsadaqah").  It means without guilt ... in a forensic and moral sense.  God despises sin!

Again, He is holy!

And these traits, particularly attractive in a Kingdom, are to be predominant in "Jacob," among God's people!  His Own nation, Israel, is to live righteously under His Rule!  So today is the Church to live godly!

Folks, our Saviour is a King too!

When He prophetically appears to John in Revelation 19, riding a white horse of victory and returning to earth, He has on His Head "many crowns!" 

A King!

The King!

The King of Kings!

Praise His Name!

Pray with me today: "Lord, Thy Kingdom come!"

If you are saved ... you're a child of the King too!

Live like it!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




The primary Old Testament word for "worship" is "shachah."  Its basic definition is "to bow down."  It is found 172 times in the Old Testament.

Its first occurrence is in Genesis 18 where Abraham "bowed himself toward the ground" when he was met by three guests (angels), One of Whom was the Lord.

Then again in Genesis 22, at the "sacrifice" of Isaac, we read:  "And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you." 

Psalm 99 even commands us to worship the Lord!

"Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy." Psalm 99:5

Yes, the verb "shachah" here is an imperative!  It is required of God's people to worship the true and living God!  The verb here is "hithpael" in form, suggesting reflexive action!  "People of God, worship Him ... you yourselves do so now!"

The last chapter of the Old Testament to use our word for worship is Zechariah 14.  There, describing the Lord's coming Rule upon earth during the Millennium, we are told:  "And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles." Then ... "And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain."  Zechariah 14:16-17

The noun "footstool" is "regel" and can mean one's leg or foot or even toe.  It is simply that under which one places his foot!  Isaiah 66:1 tells us:  "Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?"

So, Psalm 99:5 is teaching us to worship God ... anywhere on earth!

In so worshiping God, we are also commanded (imperative mood verb) to "exalt" Him!  "Rum" (pronounced "room") means "to lift up" or to "extol."  This requirement is framed as a "piel" verb, greatly intensifying the action!  When you exalt the Lord, do so vigorously

Here's some interesting news too.  As you "exalt" the Lord ... He is also prone to "lift" you from time to time too!  Using our same word, "rum," Psalm 3:3 calls our Lord:  "the lifter up of our head!"  Read it with me:  "But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head." 

Then our verse tells us WHY we are to exalt and worship the Lord:  "Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy."

Holy, or "qadosh," here means That Which is "set apart!"  Unlike all the others!

The awesome purity of God, His altogether Otherness, His separateness from sin demand our worship!

Friend, today if possible and if not then at least by Sunday, fall on your knees somewhere and adore, exalt, worship the King!

Lift Him high!

After all, He saved your soul from hell!

And if you can't physically bend and fall prostrate before Him ... do so in your heart!  He sees that too! 

"For the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart."  1st Samuel 16:7

He knows when we humbly seek His Face!

                                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




"The Lord reigneth!"

That's exactly how Psalm 99 begins ... at least in the King James Version of the Bible.

Our great God is King!

But quite soon Psalm 99 is saying:  "Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the LORD, and he answered them."  Psalm 99:6

Our God hears and answers prayer!

But not only that!

He also forgave the people of Israel their sins!

"Thou answeredst them, O LORD our God: thou wast a God that forgavest them."  Psalm 99:8

Moses ("moshe" meaning "drawn out" as of the water) and Aaron His brother ("aharon" meaning "light bringer") and Samuel ("shamuel" meaning "his name is El") were all godly men.  These men are here called "priests."  In Hebrew "kohen" means priest in the sense of the one who "officiates" or "mediates" at worship! While officially the sons of Levi were the only men who could serve as priests in Israel, Samuel here is included!  He is a descendent of Ephraim ... or Joseph! God here has expanded the priesthood!

By New Testament days, after Jesus' Blood was shed, all Believers are priests! Yes, we are all invited to "come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."  Hebrews 4:16

Of these three great men, each prayed to the Lord our God.  The verb for pray, in Hebrew "qara," means "to cry out loud, to invite or to summon."  And the present participial form used here pictures habitual prayer, not an occasional thing!

These men prayed to the Lord ... and He answered them!  "Anah" means "to respond, to speak or to give witness!"

The God being described in Psalm 99 is not only a King!  He is also a Priest! One Who can hear the needs of man ... present them to His Father ... and respond with a suitable answer!  Biblically speaking, Christian prayer is TO God the Father, THROUGH God the Son (in Jesus' Name) and BY the motivation of the Holy Spirit!

Furthermore, Jesus not only answers prayer ... He also "forgives" men of their sins!  That verb in verse eight, "nasa," means "to lift up" and bear far away! 

This sounds like a New Testament Text!

Has Paul been here?

No, he will not be born for another thousand years!

But the Grace of God has sure been here!


The "load" of my sins ... gone!

Carried away, far far away!

Who can atone for our sins, taking them away, but the Saviour? 


Our great High Priest!

Yes, He is King!

But oh, praise God, yes ... He is Priest too!

And Psalm 99 still has has a verse to go too!

What else is our Lord?

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




We have been studying Psalm 99 in the Old Testament.

I was drawn to that Passage of Scripture partly because it uses the word "worship" twice in its short nine verses.

It is a worship Psalm!

But then I learned that it, from start to finish, constantly exalts the Lord!

In the opening verses God is pictured as a King!

In the middle verses He is seen as a Priest!

And then in verse 7 we read:  "He spake unto them in the cloudy pillar: they kept his testimonies, and the ordinance that he gave them."   Psalm 99:7

Here we see the Lord "speaking" to the people ... teaching them the Law of God!  This piel (intensive action) stem verb, "dabar," just means to tell or talk or declare or at times to command or warn or even threaten! 

These are the doings of a Prophet!

He speaks the truth to those who will hear!

The exact expression "cloudy pillar" is found 4 times in the King James Bible, in three different chapters of Scripture.  Exodus 33 tells us:  "And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses. And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door."  Then Nehemiah 9:12 adds:  "Moreover thou leddest them in the day by a cloudy pillar; and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go."

And at Sinai, receiving the Law of God, we are told of the Lord:  "And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud.  And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.  And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying ...." 

God Himself, teaching and preaching to Israel! 

The Perfect Prophet!

By the way, the noun "pillar" (in Hebrew = "ammud") means a "column" shaped object, perhaps the very evidence of the Presence of God!

And how do we know what God "preached?"

The rest of our verse explains:  "They kept his testimonies, and the ordinance that he gave them."  Psalm 99:7b

"Kept," the verb, translates "shamar" and means to hear and observe and heed! To obey!  To responsively perceive and react accordingly!  The "testimonies" suggest that God here is giving "witness" to Who He is and What He is!  The Law is just God expressing Himself!

And the noun "ordinance" illustrates this mighty communication from God even further. "Choq" in Hebrew is derived from a root verb that means "to cut or to engrave." Remember, God is "writing" the Law in stone tablets!  When a command is "cut" like this, it suggests its enactment.  God "put into force" His Law!  He preached the Word!  He reproved, rebuked and exhorted! 

And, ironically so, we are told the Law of God was a "gift" to the Israelites!  "The ordinance that He GAVE them."

Not a burden here, but a "gift!"

The Law of God made Israel a distinct nation!  When they obeyed, they were singularly blessed of the Lord!

I believe the Jews' greatest gift to mankind is the Word of God!  Of course they were simply the "channel" through which It flowed.  Speaking of this very point Paul said:  "Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God."  Romans 3:2

A nation that was not allowed to live immorally or worship indiscriminately or kill or steal or covet!

Of course we all know Israel failed, miserable failed, in her mission!

But it was not God's fault!  Nor that of the Law of God either!

Perhaps the greatest way the Law is a GIFT is that, as Paul says:  "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith."  Galatians 3:24

So, in the final analysis, the Lord God ... Who is history's first and greatest PROPHET ... preached the Law, the Word, the very Message that ultimately led mankind to Jesus, the Saviour!

If a man is not LOST ... how can he be found?

If he does not know he is a SINNER ... how can he be saved?

If he is not WRONG ... can he ever (through the Grace of God and the Blood of Jesus) become right?

Thank the Lord God today!

He SPOKE through the Commandments ... then God ... "Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high."  Hebrews 1:2-3


Now, that's the job of the Prophet ... pointing men and women to Jesus!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




One job of the Old Testament prophet was to preach "against" sin!

That aspect of his work, seriously missing in our day, is even mentioned in the Psalms!

Listen to the Lord command Isaiah:  "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, AND shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins."  Isaiah 58:1

That verb "shew" ("show") in the Text (in Hebrew = "nagad") means "to tell or declare or report" something.  It can also mean "to expound!"

Every Old Testament prophet, although in various ways, exposes and condemns the iniquity of the people to whom he was sent!

Psalm 99 even says this of the Lord God Himself!

The God Who reigns as a King!  (Psalm 99:1)

The God Who hears and meets His subjects' spiritual needs as did the Priests of by-gone days!  (Psalm 99:8)

And also ... the God Who "took vengeance on their inventions!"  (Again, Psalm 99:8)  Now here is God as a mighty Prophet, exposing and judging sin!

The noun used by the Holy Spirit here for "inventions" is "aliylah" and means one's doings or works or deeds or actions, the implication often being wicked acts!  The "root" of the word is a verb, "alal," which means "to effect" someone or something.  In our context here this is  describing wicked action that spreads and powerfully impacts others!

Anything good mankind has ever discovered or made, he has eventually ruined or corrupted or defiled by sin!

God, the Holy God of Heaven, "took vengeance" on such wickedness.  This verb, "naqam," means to punish!  The Prophet Nahum in his short Book uses the word three different times in one verse:  "God is jealous, and the LORD REVENGETH; the LORD REVENGETH, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies." Nahum 1:2

Speaking of a yet coming day of judgment, God is said to be readying Himself even now!  "For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon His head; and He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke."  Isaiah 59:17

In our Psalm for today (Psalm 99) we are precisely told three times about God being "holy" (verses 3 and 5 and 9).  We therefore need not be surprised at His judgment upon sin!

Sin and righteousness are mutually exclusive!

God's true prophets through the ages never let mankind forget that fact either!

If Israel of old had her "inventions" ... which she promptly corrupted, what about the nations of the world today?

More inventions for sure!

More perversion and sin as well!

Therefore ... more "vengeance" from God is to be expected!

And it is coming!

Christian folks, stay pure!

Stay clean!

Exercise 1st John 1:9 regularly!  "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Sin is real!

But, through the Blood of Jesus, so is forgiveness!

That's why the whole 8th verse of Psalm 99 states:  "Thou answeredst them, O LORD our God: thou wast a God that forgavest them, though thou tookest vengeance of their inventions."


                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Our God is to be worshipped!

He is worthy of such.

He has even made "laws" concerning that worship.  "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God ...."  Exodus 20:3-5

Psalm 99 closes with a "worship" verse.  "Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy."  Psalm 99:9

The verb "exalt" is in the Piel imperative form (in Hebrew) and means "to lift up."  This expresses a command!  It also demands that we obey gladly and energetically!

Note too that in the titles of Divinity used here both Jehovah ("LORD") and Elohim ("God") are emphasized.  These are His two most prominent Names in the Bible.  Jehovah occurs 6519 times and Elohim 2606 more!  Maybe one way of visibly revealing our desire to "lift up" our great God is to follow Abraham's lead in Genesis 14:22.  Using this same verb, "to lift up," he says:  "I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the Possessor of heaven and earth." 

The parallel verb "worship" (in Hebrew = "shachah") is also an imperative. We MUST worship Him!  This word (both as noun and verb) is found in Psalm 99 three times!  It IS a worship Psalm!

To "shachah" is "to bow down" or "to stoop" or "to crouch" before someone greater than you!  It is a physical manifestation of an inward attitude.  When one bows before a superior like that, he is proving his trust of that one.  This is a posture of submission and vulnerability!  And, in this case, love and adoration too!

Worship of God is not based on circumstances or emotional states or other such stimuli.  It is a response of a grateful soul to his or her God ... in all situations.  Job worshipped when death came his way!  David joyfully worshipped jumping and leaping into the air!  Jehoshaphat worshipped in a time of war! Hannah worshipped when burdened with a heavy heart!  Habakkuk worshipped when everything went wrong!  The Wise Men worshipped at the end of a long journey!  Daniel worshipped while studying Scripture!  Mary worshipped at Jesus' Feet!  Multitudes in Heaven worship Him right now!  The lesson is this: Worship Him anywhere anytime and do so gloriously!

While His "Holy Hill" can picture the whole earth, it most often refers to Jerusalem ... and the Temple ... especially the Most Holy Place where rested the Mercy Seat of God!

Psalm 99:9 even gives us the WHY of worship, or at least one of them!

"Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy."

He is Holy!

Holiness is, I believe, His central attribute.

He is first of all Holy!

I saw something recently about worship.  When Jesus said to the Samaritan woman "the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him," our Lord may have been involving the Trinity in the great privilege of worship!

The Father is clearly seen.  He is the Object of worship!

The Holy Spirit is emphasized too.  He motivates and encourages our worship.

But where is Jesus in this great verse?   Why, He is "The Truth!"  See John 14:6 where He declares:  "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." 

Just as the Trinity is in constant unbroken communion ... so in worship all are involved!

I am worshipping when interacting and glorifying each Member of the Godhead!

Father, today I adore Thee!

Holy Spirit, help me express to God my sincere adoration!

Jesus, many thanks be unto Thee for revealing the Father so perfectly and completely!

Worthy be Thy Name!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell






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