Her family is famous for hiding Jews from Nazi capture during World War II. Corrie Ten Boom is revered by followers of Christ around the world for telling their story. I actually had the privilege to hear her give her testimony at an Easter sunrise service nearly fifty years ago. She was captivating.
I am rereading her book, The Hiding Place, where she tells of a memorable moment with her father, a watch repairman, when she was about ten years old. She had gone with him to the big city to purchase parts and watches, and they were returning home on the train. Previous to their trip, Corrie had been exposed to some sexual talk that was perplexing to her and she wanted to ask her father about it.
Her father carefully listened and was silent for a while. Then, he pulled down a suitcase full of watch parts from the rack above them and placed it before Corrie, asking her to carry it off the train when it stopped. Corrie tried to lift it and, of course, could not. Then her father said to her, “Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are old and stronger you can bear it. For now, you must trust me to carry it for you.”
Psalm 99 is joyful and heavy. It will help us trust, adore, and worship Yahweh. “The LORD reigns,” says the song writer, “let the people tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake...Holy is he...holy is he...For the LORD our God is holy!” (vss. 1, 3, 5, 9).
We dare not miss the tension throughout Psalm 99 between God who is holy—wholly other, separate and distinct—and God who is “our” personal God. Theologians call the former His “transcendence” and the latter His “immanence.”
That God is holy in His kingship and essence is clear in the psalm. He reigns, is great, is mighty, forgives sin, and alone is to be worshipped. Note Revelation 4-5, which wonderfully peeks into heaven, where God and Christ are worshipped. “Holy, holy, holy” is the Father (4:8) and “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain.” That He is personally “our God” in Psalm 99 is flatly, thankfully stated (vss. 5, 8, 9a, 9b).
Such is the reign of Christ as King and the holiness of God for we traveling pilgrims, waiting to reach our destination before Father and His Son—“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
I commend Psalm 99 to you in your personal worship and as you prepare to worship in church next Sunday.
In telling her story about the suitcase Corrie says, “And I was satisfied. More than satisfied—wonderfully at peace. There were answers to this and all my hard questions—for now I was content to leave them in my father’s keeping.”
Are we satisfied with our God as mighty King?