Spring is frequently the season when people clean, organize, and plan for the coming year. Some refer to this process as “getting their ducks in a row.” Often we feel more content and happy when our life details are under control. Exactly the opposite feelings tend to surface when we face unexpected and threatening circumstances. However it does not have to be this way. Psalm 97 gives us a row of reasons why the contrary can be true. These verses show us another kind of D.U.C.K. as we—Discover Unreasonable Cheerfulness Knowledge.
Let’s collect these D.U.C.K. tidbits from the string of verses and put them in a usable row for us to examine.
In verse 1, we learn we can rejoice because the Lord reigns.
“The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles and coastlands be glad.”
What is the merry take away? God reigns no matter how far away or isolated we feel.
Verse 2 indicates that even though we don’t know everything about God (mystery—darkness and clouds surround Him), we can rejoice in what we do know.
“Clouds and darkness are round about Him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.”
Isn’t it great to learn that the setting or basis for God’s throne, which He occupies and rules from, is His righteousness (always behaving consistent to His moral code) and His justice (His fair and reasonable treatment)? There are no flawed human calculations of justice and righteousness involved in this setting. It’s all summed up with God’s calibrations. If we can grasp what this means, we realize that His formula for rule spares us from much immediate and eternal trouble. Surely, this knowledge is cause for celebration!
Verses 3-5 give more reasons for us to be unreasonably cheerful. These phrases tell how He “burns up His adversaries,” the hills melt like wax in His presence, and His “lightnings illumine the world.” It sounds to me like God’s rule involves vanquishing adversaries, melting barriers and illuminating the darkness. How can I not be joyful knowing these things?
Being able to have joy beyond human understanding is not just an opportunity for a few people. Widespread elation over God is expected. Verse 6 tells us, “The heavens declare His righteousness and all the peoples see His glory.” Verse 7 relays that only those who worship graven images or boast in their idols will be put to shame.
Finally, we can rejoice because of the concluding expressions found in Psalm 97.
“For You, Lord, are high above all the earth. You are exalted above all gods. O you who love the Lord, hate evil. He preserves the lives of His saints (the children of God). He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the uncompromisingly righteous and strewn along their pathway, and joy for the upright in heart (the irrepressible joy which comes from the consciousness of His favor and protection). Rejoice in the Lord, you who are upright and in right standing with God and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness.”
“God, how cheering it is to know You are in control, You are Righteous and Just, and You desire to illuminate my darkness. I am very grateful and heartened to understand You are in the continual business of overcoming adversaries, removing barriers and making Your Glory known. You are the only Perfect Being, (and wonderfully so), and I am Your child, a happy recipient of Your protection and favor. Let all these reasons for joy penetrate my spirit and mind so that I can consistently reflect this feature of Christian life to those who still need to understand who You are. Help me keep these D.U.C.K.s in a row! Amen.”