The Lord Is King: Fearsome and Good (Part 1)

Tammy De Ruyter

READ : Psalm 99:1-5

The Lord is King; let the peoples tremble! (v. 1)

In C. S. Lewis’ fanciful tale The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Aslan—King of Narnia—is expected to arrive at any moment. Fearful of this initial encounter Lucy hesitantly asks, “Is he safe?” Mr. Beaver declares in the oft-quoted line: “‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.” Aslan, the Christlike king, is both fearsome and good; he is terrible and merciful, powerful and just. God, in Psalm 99, is the same.

Peering through the window of this psalm, we catch a glimpse of the paradoxical nature of God—he is fearsome and good. In these first five verses, we encounter the ferocious, the awesome, the holy.

To see him as he is is a breath-catching, knee-shaking, earth-jolting experience! How can we stand in his presence? We can’t, the psalmist warns, humanity trembles as he sits enthroned on angels. He is the Lord our God. His name produces praise. The Lord is King over all the earth and his reign is exalted over all people. His justice is swift; he is holy, and he is feared. For this, we worship at his footstool. Holy and great is the Mighty King!


Glorious God, how do we get our arms around your greatness, your “big-ness,” your holiness? We tremble in your presence. We praise your awesome name.