Psalm 99 verse 1 says:
The Lord reigns;
Let the peoples tremble!
He dwells between the cherubim;
Let the earth be moved!
This verse speaks to me of two aspects of our relationship with God.
The first half says that He reigns and we should tremble. It emphasises God’s elevated position above us, distance from us and greatness compared to us. At that we should tremble, fear God, respect, reverence and honour Him. As a result we should deem what He has to say and wants us to do as our greatest priority.
The second half of the verse says, He dwells between the cherubim. The cherubim were part of the mercy seat above the ark where God met with His people on earth. This is a reminder that God is present, not distant and far away, but close, wanting intimacy with us, concerned about every detail of our life. It’s a reminder of God’s tender love and care for us.
As a result the verse says, the earth should be moved. God’s love, God making it possible He is present in our life, near us, engaged, involved, accessible to us through the death of Christ, should move us to love Him in return, to faithfully serve and obey Him.
So God is both far away and near, far above us and very close beside us….God’s distance from us causing us to fear Him, His nearness to us moving us to love Him.