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The Feast of Tabernacles and Psalm 93

by George Carter

The Lord is King! This wonderful and most emphatic statement opens Psalm 93 and fittingly introduces this section of the Psalms. It most definitely requires an exclamation mark and few translations of the Bible provide one.

Many commentaries recognize this group of psalms as heralding God as the supreme and everlasting King, and this opening cry, “The Lord reigns,” is repeated in Psalms 96:10, 97:1 and 99:1. Some scholars imagine that these songs originated in a festival to celebrate the Lord’s ascension, but cannot find support for that in the Old Testament. Others, therefore, think that they were borrowed from the investiture of the Babylonian lord Marduk. Failing that, some rabbis have associated Psalm 93 with Creation and God ruling above the deep, dark waters that had enveloped the Earth, but coming then to the crowning glory of the creation of man on the sixth day.

In olden times, the Levites sang “The Lord reigns, He is clothed in majesty” every week on what we today call Friday. Man was made on the sixth day, and he alone of all earthly creatures had the capacity to appreciate the Creator’s rulership and praise Him as is fitting.

In the Church we understand it as prophecy, as history written in advance by the inspired Word of God. This group of psalms, from 93 to 100, does indeed herald the Lord as King, but they do so in looking forward with eager anticipation to the return of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, and His millennial rule over all nations in the world. No more fitting music could be imagined than the mighty Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s Messiah.

These eight psalms are sometimes called the Messianic Psalms, or the Royal Psalms, and are associated with Rosh Hashanah in Jewish tradition. To them this looks back to the day on which Adam was made (entirely without need of a belly button) on the Day of Trumpets, which they regard as the first day of human history and observe always as New Year’s day.

The Feast of Trumpets would certainly be a most appropriate day on which to make this stunning announcement that ‘The Lord reigns!’ At last the long-awaited Kingdom of God is established over all the Earth (Isaiah 9:6, 7. See also 52:7-10). If He does not come, and just on time, mankind will not survive (Matthew 24:22).

Even so, the world will not welcome Him with open arms, but rise up rather in a tumultuous rage of resistance likened to the sound of roaring, storm-tossed seas (Psalm 93:3,4 and Isaiah 17:12). Led by the perverse and upset god of this world with his hordes of demons, together with the massed armies of deceived mankind, they will gather at a place called Armageddon for the final gruesome confrontation (Revelation 16:16).

The Lord of Hosts is far greater than the combined military might of all nations put together. It will be as the day when Jesus stood up in the boat in the raging sea and commanded the storm to cease – and it did (Mark 4:39). His apostles were amazed. So shall all mankind be astonished when they see the Son of God act with irresistible power to bring peace and calm to a war-torn world.

As the rock stands steady in a storm whilst all the raging waves break upon it, so the Word of God stands inviolate amidst all the storms of controversy, rebellion, and vain philosophy of sadly misled men. The Lord’s decrees are absolute. His Kingdom will be established in holiness, opening up eternity to all those who adore Him (Psalm 93:5).

Thus, Psalm 93 provides a thought provoking introduction to the Feast of Tabernacles and the Day of the Lord.

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