Editorial: The Lord Reigns

Who will hold power? Who will be in control? Who will shape the future of the nation? What laws might be altered or passed? Questions like these may have permeated the mind of the composer of Psalm 93. Although we don’t know its author nor are we given a title, moved by circumstances and, more importantly, the Holy Spirit, the psalmist begins with the most stabilizing truth we could ever ponder – “The Lord Reigns” (v1). Monarchies, oligarchies and dictatorships are no exception to this absolute truth. Neither are democracies and republics. Even where anarchy exists in this world, it still holds true that “The Lord Reigns.”

The psalmist looks behind the curtain of chaotic and unpredictable world events and encourages us with at least four assurances, which are true no matter what year it is (yes, even 2020) or where we happen to live.

First, God’s reign is eternal. “Your throne has been secure from ancient times; you have always been king” (v2).[1]  The psalmist not only looks backward to the Lord’s reign, but the last word of the psalm (“forever”) reminds us that He has always ruled and always will. No matter who sits in power on earth, “the Most High is ruler over human kingdoms” (Dan 4:25). The Lord reigns.

Second, God’s power is incomparable. “He wears strength around his waist” (v1) indicates that His power undergirds His rule. The surging and destructive flood waters (vv3-4), perhaps symbolic of hostile nations at enmity with God, rise higher and higher. But “above” them all, untouched, “the Lord sits enthroned in majesty” (v4). Their wicked purposes will never overthrow nor thwart His purposes. The Lord reigns.

Third, God’s laws are unchangeable. Changes in earthly administrations bring with them new laws and alterations or repeals to existing laws, and we adjust as best we can. But the psalmist reminds us that God’s “royal laws cannot be changed” (v5 NLT). We can always look to God’s Word and know exactly what He expects from us no matter who wields the scepter of earthly power.

Finally, this world is immovable, unless the Lord decides to move it. “Indeed, the world is established, it cannot be moved” (v1). The Lord reigns and the world itself is in His hand. This truth was expressed well by another anonymous song writer, a slave who penned the classic, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.” The title and lyrics demonstrate a remarkable outlook by someone who experienced more turmoil, suffering and loss than most of us ever will. He had no control over his future, knowing he could be sold, separated from friends and family, or beaten without penalty, all while living under unjust laws. Yet somehow, this songwriter, like the psalmist, believed “the Lord reigns.” They both believed it because it was, and always will be, true.

The choice and appointment of earthly leaders both now and in the future are sure to disappoint us. But we can always say, “The Lord reigns! Let the earth be happy!” (Psa 97:1).

[1] All Scripture quotations in this article are from the NET unless otherwise noted.