I’m captivated by Psalm 99:4a (ESV): “The King in his might loves justice.” Psalm 99 is the appointed psalm for the 18th Sunday after Pentecost. We also call it October 16, 2011. Church goers around the world will proclaim this Word as they gather to worship the King. Combined with the other lectionary readings for this week (Exodus 33:12-23, 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 and Matthew 22:15-22), we get an eclectic description about what God is like, what we’re like, and what the world is all about. There is an issue with our worship service, as well as so many others: there’s just not enough time to really dwell in the myriad of Truths contained therein. As soon as you just start getting your mind and heart wrapped around part of the Majestic, we move on to the next thing. As a Worship Pastor and service builder, I’m willing to take the blame for some of that. However, it’s your job as a Worshiper to come prepared for Liturgy (which means “the work of the people”). With only a short amount of time together, it would be impossible to offer the nutrition needed for another week. Think of our worship gatherings as a big family meal at a huge table, with a substantial and delicious Turkey (or steak or Tofu) at the middle, of which we will all partake with thankful hearts. Imagine eating your fill on Sunday and then getting mad that you’re hungry on Tuesday. Fair? I think not. It’s up to you to do the work of Worship every day. If you don’t dwell daily in the presence of the King, you’re going to go hungry. And that’s never good.

What might a daily intake of the Lectionary (appointed readings for Sunday Worship) look like? One might take and study the Old Testament reading on Monday, the Psalm on Tuesday, the Gospel on Wednesday, the Epistle on Thursday, and then maybe back to the Gospel again on Friday. Or perhaps just dwelling on one passage for the week — the Psalm reading, for example — might prove to be quite nutritious.
I read Psalm 99 on Monday morning and thought “that’s really cool.” I read it again on Wednesday and thought “no, wait, that’s REALLY cool!” I was drawn specifically to Psalm 99:4a, which I mentioned above: “The King in his might loves justice.” That verse alone tells us 50 things about the character and nature of God! This gets me rather excited! So, instead of remaining in the hyperbole, I went ahead and starting listing truths packed into this 7 word sentence. As a personal discipline, I list them below.  Some of these might blur into others and there may even be some redundancies, but this isn’t meant to be an academic pursuit.  This helps me think theologically about a profound Truth.  I see this as an act of worship.

The King in his might loves justice.

Psalm 99:4a (ESV)

  1. God is a King.
  2. God is the King.
  3. God is mighty.
  4. God acts out of His might.
  5. God loves.
  6. God loves justice.
  7. God loves in His might.
  8. God uses His position as King for good and not evil.
  9. God uses His position as King to watch out for His people.
  10. God has a value system.
  11. God values authority.
  12. God values strength.
  13. God values love.
  14. God values justice.
  15. God values me.
  16. God reveals Himself.
  17. God wants to be known.
  18. God wants His creation to know Him.
  19. God cares about how people interact.
  20. God is interested in being involved enough to rule.
  21. God is on a throne, wears a crown and robe (as a King would).
  22. God considers Himself to be higher than me.
  23. God considers me to be His subject.
  24. God has the power to call me to account if I do something that challenges His authority (as a King would).
  25. God is a King, which indicates monarchy (one rule) and not democracy (I have a vote, too).
  26. God’s might is His might, not might on loan from an even higher power.  Our might is given to us by the King.
  27. God hates injustice.
  28. God has my best interest in mind.
  29. God expects me to take on the practices of the Kingdom.
  30. God has given us exactly what we need (Salvation).
  31. God has not given us exactly what we deserve (eternal destruction).
  32. God operates from the place of justice, which means that the cross wasn’t just “bending the rules a little”.
  33. God is just, which means that calling Him “unfair” is inaccurate.
  34. God reigns, but not just over a person (me) — He reigns over people (us).
  35. God has designed you and I to dwell together in his Kingdom, under His rule.
  36. God intends for us to take on these qualities, especially loving justice.
  37. God is extremely gracious to endure our blatant acts of injustice, since He seems to have made justice a central part of His Kingdom.
  38. God expects that our response to injustice would be the same as His.
  39. God expects that we would hold justice in high regard, even to the place of loving it.
  40. God is the only King to whom all other kings bow, which is simply an act of responding justly, since any other kind of response would be unjust.
  41. God is the only King to whom I bow, which is an act of justice and love on my part, made possible by the might of His prevenient grace.
  42. God is okay with having the removed crowns of others strewn about the floor of His throne.
  43. God wants us to see Him as a sovereign, strong, loving, just ruler, and anything that doesn’t align doesn’t belong.
  44. God is serous enough about our dwelling in true peace that He is willing to fight for what is fair, which should put us at ease.
  45. God is serious enough about our dwelling in true peace that He is willing to fight for what is fair, which should terrify us because we know what we’ve done and what we truly deserve.
  46. God wants us to trust Him.
  47. God wants us to fear Him.
  48. God wants us to truly live in response to His kingly rule, which is a daily surrender to His mighty, loving justice.
  49. God wants us to respond to Him in faith, believing that these attributes are true and will cause us to live drastically different lives in response.
  50. God is good.  I mean really, really good.

About radamdavidson

I'm a husband, dad, and pastor living in Portage, Michigan. I suppose I'm a euphoric melancholy generalist with average skills, experiences, and passions across several intertwined disciplines and hobbies including music, speaking, writing, leadership, ministry, and collecting cultural artifacts from the 1980's -- mostly vintage boomboxes. You can read my blog at www.radamdavidson.com, subscribe to my podcast (RadCast) or friend me on facebook.com/radamdavidson. about.me/radamdavidson
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