Psalm 97 is a royal psalm that glorifies God as king and reveals His character, might, and works. It uses figures of speech and imagery to describe His power and presence, and how He interacts with His creation. It also Foresee’s His coming to judge the earth and to get rid of false religions. It calls for the earth and its people to rejoice and praise the Lord. Let the earth rejoice: Yahweh’s (The Lord’s) reign brings joy to the earth. We could imagine an evil or dark deity whose reign would bring terror. We see such in a limited sense, where men and devils are given room to exercise their wicked will. Yet the more Yahweh’s (The Lords) reign is obvious and observed, the more rejoicing there is, extending to the multitude of the isles ( an island or peninsula, especially a small one:), the most distant places. Some attribute it to David. Others say that it was written after the exiles returned to Jerusalem from Babylon. This psalm was written by David when he went to live in Gath (in Philistine territory). He pretended to be mad so that he might be allowed into the city. David did this because he was afraid and thought that he would be safe amongst the Philistines. His act must have been believable since Achish would not let such a madman live in his city.
It reads in Psalm 97:1-12 NIV.
The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice. Clouds and thick darkness surround him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire goes before him and consumes his foes on every side. His lightning lights up the world; the earth sees and trembles.The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all peoples see his glory. All who worship images are put to shame, those who boast in idols, worship him, all you gods! Zion hears and rejoices and the villages of Judah are glad because of your judgments, Lord. For you, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods. Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. Light shines on the righteous and joy on the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous, and praise his holy name.