For You, O Lord, are the Most High over all the earth: You are elevated above all gods.Psalm 97:9
This verse by itself is a wonderful reminder that God, our God, is not just the Most High God over all the earth but that He is over all other gods. However, when we read it in the fuller context of what the Psalmist wrote we find descriptions in verses 1 through 7 – word pictures of His greatness and power not only over His creation but carved images and those who worship them. We see Him reigning, the earth having cause to rejoice. We get a glimpse of His throne made of righteousness and justice and when we look closely we will see His saving power as He is victorious over His enemies and His glory is revealed!
The light of His glory brings shame to those who create and/or worship other gods; and it reveals not only His power but the lack of power in all other gods, who themselves are subjected to worship Him, as the Most High God. It is this picture that leads us to understand the depth of the Psalmist’s words that acknowledge the LORD as the Most High, and assigning to Him preeminence over the earth and all other gods.
It is also this verse that sheds light on the words that follow and gives us cause to heed them –
You who love the LORD, hate evil! He protects the lives of His faithful followers; He delivers them from the power of the wicked. The godly bask in the light; the morally upright experience joy. You godly ones, rejoice in the Lord. Give thanks to His holy name.Psalm 97:10-12
Because God, our God, is the Most High God we are called to a higher standard. A standard that not only recognizes evil and avoids it but one that sees it as an offense to God and hates it. Our realization that He is the Most High God should equally spur us on to live faithfully for Him. We cannot just avoid and hate evil but we must choose righteousness – living and loving like Jesus. He faithfully loved God above everything else, He loved us more than self – even to the point of death, He served God and others, and did good so that others would see and glorify His Father in heaven. When we live and love like this we will know freedom from the power of sin, we will know protection from our enemies, and we will experience the joy that comes from walking in His light and we will rejoice – giving thanks to His holy name.