(8) Gracious and compassionate (is) Yahweh, slow to anger and great in steadfast love. (9) Yahweh (is) good to all and (has) compassion on all his works. (10) All your works will praise you, Yahweh, and all your godly ones will bless you. (11) They will speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power (12) to make known to the children of men your mighty deeds and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. (13) Your kingdom (is) an everlasting kingdom and your dominion (endures) throughout all generations.
In the middle verses of this praise psalm, we find four important repeated words: “compassionate” and “compassion” (vss. 8 & 9), “all” (four times in vss. 9 & 10), “works” (vss. 9 & 10), and “kingdom” (four times in vss. 11, 12, & 13). These repetitions provide the outline of this segment in which Yahweh is exalted both for who he is and for what he does.
Note that the first two verses describe Yahweh in the third person while, in the following four verses, David directly addresses Yahweh in the second person. In three of the six verses no actual verbs are found, requiring the reader to supply them (vss. 8, 9 & 13)
I. Describing the character of the king (8 & 9)
II. Describing the character of his kingdom (10-13)
Because of Yahweh’s great love and the greatness of his kingdom, he is worthy of our heartfelt praise.
Several studies in this year-long consideration of the Psalms have cited the statement, “Your kingdom come, your will be done,” found in the model prayer Jesus gave his disciples (Mt. 6:10). This sentence is daily repeated countless times throughout the world by those praying sincerely as well as those simply going through a ritual. As we mouth these words all of us should ask, “Do we know what we are saying? Do we really want God’s Kingdom to come, not only in the far distant future, but right now in our hearts and lives?”
Of all people, King David knew the meaning of the word, “kingdom,” the sphere of influence in which his subjects both acknowledged and submitted to his royal authority. When he wrote of Yahweh’s kingdom, he was likewise speaking of the sphere of influence in which Yahweh’s subjects both acknowledge and submit to his authority. While Yahweh’s kingdom has not yet been established on earth in its full-orbed, glorious form, we know that someday, when Christ personally returns in power and glory, his rule will supersede all other claims to authority. As the well beloved hymn by Isaac Watts phrases it: “Jesus shall reign where’er the sun / does its successive journeys run; / His kingdom stretch from shore to shore, / ‘til moons shall wax and wane no more.”
Until that glorious day when Messiah’s authority is finally established throughout the world, each one who has a personal relationship with Christ remains an outpost of God’s kingdom here on earth. We are like little islands of God’s kingdom surrounded by a stormy sea ruled by the enemy of our souls, “that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray” (Rev. 12:9). When we pray, “Your Kingdom come, your will be done”, we are asking God to end Satan’s tyranny as well as pledging ourselves to do everything we can to prepare ourselves for the arrival of Christ’s universal dominion.