Majesty

MAJESTY

by Wayne S. Walker

     “The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed, He has girded Himself with strength.  Surely the world is established, so that it cannot be moved” (Psalm 93:1).  Our English word “majesty” comes from an Old French word “majestas” which in turn is derived from the Latin word “magnus” meaning great.  It is generally defined as “the dignity or power of a sovereign” and is sometimes “a title used in speaking to or of a sovereign,” but is also commonly used to mean “grandeur, dignity.”  We live in a republic with a President, but in those countries which are monarchies, it is customary for citizens to address their king or queen as “Your Majesty” because that person is the greatest, so far as rank is concerned, in that nation.

     Certainly, God is clothed with majesty because He is the sovereign of the universe and can claim the dignity and power of such a ruler.  “The LORD has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all” (Psalm 103:19).  God is also clothed with majesty and deserving of grandeur or dignity because He is great.  “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in His holy mountain” (Psalm 48:1).  It is easy to see why common people in those countries which still have kings and queens would stand in awe of their monarch.  How much more should we be in awe of the sovereign King of the universe!

     Using language very similar to the Psalm, hymnwriter Isaac Watts gave us the following hymn:

“The Lord Jehovah reigns, His throne is built on high;

The garments He assumes Are light and majesty:
His glories shine with beams so bright, No mortal eye can bear the sight.”

Truly, God is worthy of all majesty.  “To God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever.  Amen” (Jude v. 26).

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