Sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvellous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.
The Lord has made his salvation known
and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
He has remembered his love
and his faithfulness to Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music;
make music to the Lord with the harp,
with the harp and the sound of singing,
with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn –
shout for joy before the Lord, the King.
Let the sea resound, and everything in it,(Ps. 98:1-9 NIV)
the world, and all who live in it.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
let the mountains sing together for joy;
let them sing before the Lord,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples with equity.
Sing to God new songs of worship
This is a song of celebration of the divine warrior having conquered in holy war. He has delivered His people and so invincible is His victory that the conquest of the whole earth is a fixed inevitability, therefore the whole earth is called to praise Him.
This is a Psalm that anticipates the coming of the Kingdom of God in glory. It is a Psalm that will finally know fulfilment when Jesus Christ comes to take his people home to heaven. But it is a Psalm we can sing in celebration, because each victory is an anticipation of the future victory, and each gathering of God’s people is a foreshadowing of the great gathering in Heaven at the marriage supper of the Lamb. Sometimes that which is future is sung about as though it has already happened. That’s not because we have got our past, present and future tenses mixed up. But rather we can sing of the future in the past tense, because the future is as certain as if it has already happened. The one who has spoken about the future knows no future, the whole span of time is like a page that God has in front of Him, He has the whole event in His hands. Our years, however, move slowly across the page in a linear fashion, one moment following another in a stubborn sequence that we are powerless to change.
Time and time again we see evidence that the Lord does marvellous things, that by His right hand and holy arm He works salvation.
When did God work salvation? We can of course look to the cross in our meditation, when the incarnate God died as man, the just for the unjust, to bring the faraway near to God. When we think of Calvary, we ought to praise God for this work of salvation.
Then there was that moment when God came into our lives and saved us, when He worked salvation in our hearts. And that gives us cause to praise God.
At other times in our lives when we felt we needed God’s help, we cried out to God and from heaven He heard our prayer and came and answered and helped us, maybe not always in the way that we thought but He answered, and that is a cause to praise God.
And then there are times in the life of the church that God comes and answers prayer, when he comes and saves sinners.
This is a foretaste of the great triumph of the gospel that will be evident when Jesus reigns in eternal glory.
In a great number of the Psalms, what begins in the house of God spreads. When we come to look at the book of Acts we will see that when the fear of God fell upon the people, the church spread throughout the nation, and beyond the boundaries of Israel to the rest of the world to establish the Kingdom of God.
When we believe God, then we can preach to the world to believe God.
If you consider this Psalm to be the cardiograph of a worshipper’s heart, then the amplitude of the heartbeat increases as the Psalmist considers and considers again the marvellous things that God has done.
Notice how the Psalm progresses as it moves through the three stanzas
- v 1-3
- v 4-6
- v 7-9
The Psalmist looks for a wider audience as his heart is filled with thankfulness, he needs a wider group to join in the praise, until in stanza three he calls for the sea, the world and the rivers to join in to praise the Lord.
Lord God we thank You that You have made us a part of a worshipping people. We thank You for salvation and the joy and peace that comes from knowing that our sins have been forgiven. Thank You for making salvation known to us. Our lives could have been so different if Your love had not overshadowed us. Thank You for adopting us into Your family and allowing a place in the congregation to worship You. Receive our thanks in Jesus’ name. Amen.