1 A psalm.
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. 2 The LORD has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. 3 He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
4 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; 5 make music to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, 6 with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—shout for joy before the LORD, the King.
7 Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. 8 Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy; 9 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.
Psalm 98 – Jesus: Judge or Saviour?
(Verses 1-3) In some ways Psalm 96 seems like an echo from Psalm 93. Usually when I repeat myself it is because I forgot what I said in the first place! But the Bible often repeats truths and promises. They are good, so God reminds of them again! Once again, we are urged to ‘Sing to the LORD a new song’. Christianity loves to put truths to music so we can all join in: singing helps us remember those truths. I realised that Jesus is God when I sang and thought over Christmas carols! Now I know it is a clear, constant theme of the Bible. ‘The Bible Panorama’ comments on Psalm 98: ‘the new song to be sung to the LORD is because of His marvellous deeds, victory, salvation, righteousness, revelation, mercy and faithfulness.’ Just add the word ‘grace’ (Ephesians 2:8-9) and ‘love’ (1 John 4:9-10) to make it almost an exhaustive list of words that are ‘bedrock’ in the message of the gospel. Think about Jesus’ cruel death on the cross to bear our sins and their penalty. When we turn from the wrong in our lives to receive Christ as our Lord, Saviour and Friend, we begin to realise that the list of words quoted above, and found in this Psalm, perfectly describe what Christ did to save us. How sad that many people will not see their urgent need to repent and to receive the Lord Jesus into their hearts as their personal Lord and Saviour.
(Verses 4-6) What joy the worship of God can produce across the world. Shouts of joy, jubilant song, music including from the harp, singing, trumpet-playing and ram’s horns’ blasts underline today the infectious joy which can become yours when the Lord Jesus is your LORD and King. Is He your Saviour, LORD and King?
(Verses 7-9) Nature itself is put forth again as worshipping and rejoicing in God, its Designer and Creator. (Genesis 1 and 2.) Nature’s ‘choir members’ include the sea and its occupants, the world and all living in it, the rivers and the mountains. This reminds us how man naturally wonders at nature. He thinks instinctively ‘whoever did that must be great.’ Look at the stars in the night sky, and marvel. Mankind and nature involuntarily proclaim the LORD’s wonders before their Creator. But the joy of such worship cannot hide a sober and frightening fact. Jesus will come to earth to judge its peoples righteously and fairly. ‘Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people.’ (Hebrews 9:27-28). Either face Judge Jesus after death and be judged for all your sins, or trust Saviour Jesus before death. He was judged on the cross in your place for you. Eternal Hell awaits all unrepentant people to be judged by Jesus. Eternal Heaven awaits all who trust Him as Saviour. Will you be judged or saved? Do you need to trust Him now?