1Oh sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvelous things!
His right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.
2 The Lord has made known his salvation;
he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.
3 He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.
4 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises!
5 Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
with the lyre and the sound of melody!
6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn
make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord!
7 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who dwell in it!
8 Let the rivers clap their hands;
let the hills sing for joy together
9 before the Lord, for he comes
to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity. Psalm 98:1-9
How beautifully this writing from the Old Testament could fit squarely into the New Testament with no editing. If we were to take all the words of the Apostle Paul, all of his preaching, and attempt to condense them down to their most basic, simplest, and most profound form, I don’t believe one could do it more effectively than the 173 words of this Psalm.
Just as he wrote to the church at Philippi: 4 “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned[b] and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:4-9)
Psalm 98 is looking forward with praise. Firstly, the praise of men…with songs and instruments, lifting up joyous “new” songs, music, and shouts to God. I can’t help thinking of Palm Sunday, when Jesus entered Jerusalem on the back of a donkey. The crowds welcomed him, spreading cloaks on the road and waving palm branches. 37“…The whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’” (Luke 19:37-38) When the Pharisees asked Jesus to rebuke them, Jesus told them, “…I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” (Luke 19:40)
Secondly, the Psalmist mentions even the praise of the elements of the earth, as does the Apostle Paul as he writes:
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (Romans 8:18-25)
It is we, as believers in Jesus Christ, who identify as children of God who can look to the future with confident hope, knowing that regardless of the condition of the world around us, God is bringing all things together according to His will. We, who are His children in Christ, will see and experience all that He has in store for us—redemption—not only for us, but for all creation. We know these things to be true because it is written: 13“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee[a] of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14)
Prayer for Today: Abba, Father, we wait patiently for the restoration and redemption of all things. We wait with a hope that is firmly based on the evidence of a living God, an ever-present LORD who has given His Spirit to His children as a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance. We rejoice with a renewed hope, a refreshed spirit, and a strengthened faith in Christ Jesus our LORD. Amen!