Judges 7:1-25; Luke 23:1-12; Psalms 97:1-12; Proverbs 21:25-26
Psalms: “The Lord reigns! Let the earth rejoice; let the many coasts and islands be glad. Clouds and total darkness surround him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire goes before him and burns up his foes on every side. His lightning lights up the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord — at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. The heavens proclaim his righteousness; all the peoples see his glory. All who serve carved images, those who boast in worthless idols, will be put to shame. All the gods must worship him. Zion hears and is glad, Judah’s villages rejoice because of your judgments, Lord. For you, Lord, are the Most High over the whole earth; you are exalted above all the gods. You who love the Lord, hate evil! He protects the lives of his faithful ones; he rescues them from the power of the wicked. Light dawns for the righteous, gladness for the upright in heart. Be glad in the Lord, you righteous ones, and give thanks to his holy name.” (Psalms 97:1-12 CSB)
If you have ever been in a gathering when the Lord manifested His presence – or even in a private time of worship – it is a wonderful and awesome experience. Elijah had an experience like that in 1 Kings 19:11-13. Elijah saw all the idol worship that was going on in the land and lost hope. In the midst of his depression and hopelessness, God manifested His presence to Elijah and suddenly everything became clear. He was able to see that Lord reigned over all. The Prophet Isaiah had a similar experience in Isaiah 6:1-4. The king had just died and Isaiah sought the Lord. Suddenly he saw the Lord high and lifted up… and everything for Isaiah changed in a moment. John the Apostle was banished to a remote island and was concerned for the state of the persecuted fledgling church – then suddenly Jesus, the exalted King of Kings manifested Himself to John and shifted his perspective. The Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 14 described what should happen when the the Lord manifests His presence in a gathering and the Spirit of prophecy is released: the secrets of peoples hearts are revealed, they are convinced, they are convicted, and they fall on their face and declare that God is truly present. Everything changes when the exalted King is enthroned among His people. The Lord’s (and our) enemies flee before Him. The mountainous obstacles that ominously stand in our way melt like wax. The false gods and idols of the world are exposed for what they are. Everyone present – believer and unbeliever alike – see and experience His glory. Depending on where you are with the Lord, it can be a fearful or a joyous experience… but one thing is certain: all are convinced that the Lord reigns over all.