Day 22 — Sunday, December 18, 2022

The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice;
let the many coastlands be glad!
Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Fire goes before him
and burns up his adversaries all around.
His lightnings light up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
before the Lord of all the earth.

The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
and all the peoples see his glory.
All worshipers of images are put to shame,
who make their boast in worthless idols;
worship him, all you gods!

Zion hears and is glad,
and the daughters of Judah rejoice,
because of your judgments, O LORD.
For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth;
you are exalted far above all gods.

O you who love the LORD, hate evil!
He preserves the lives of his saints;
he delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
Light is sown for the righteous,
and joy for the upright in heart.
Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous,
and give thanks to his holy name!
Psalm 97

The woman in my watch interrupted a private conversation between my husband and me to complain: “I don’t understand what you’re saying.” Apparently, she needed me to speak more slowly or use smaller words. It is no secret that the tech gods are listening to and recording almost everything we say and do, but to what end? Do they intend to judge us for crossing them, for not succumbing to their lordship? Well, good luck with that.

The reality is, if we harnessed all the power of all the rulers of this world and their minions — past, present, and future — they could not move a puff of vapor, not without God’s permission.

Today, when you choose whom you will worship, look up. Choose God: the Creator of life, who grieves the shedding of innocent blood; the Lord, before whom mountains melt like wax; the Judge who is justice, who is righteousness, who does not wrap depravity in virtue and call it good but delivers us from it; the King, whose foes — all of them — are consumed by fire; the Holy One, whose holiness demands, and whose mercy has provided, payment for sin; your gentle Father, who loves you because he loves you because he loves you. 

Jesus suffered the eternal horrors of God’s wrath against sin — our sin — because of his uncontainable love for every human being. The psalmist calls us today to hear and rejoice, to hate evil, and to praise his holy name. The Most High God guards our lives and delivers us from the grip of the wicked. He is exalted far above all other gods; false gods and those who worship them will be put to shame and come to nothing. So look up, and do not fear. God is on his throne, and heaven is on the horizon.

JoHannah Smith is project editor at the Van Raalte Institute of Hope College.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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