Book #4: 90-106, cont’d.
Psalm 96:1-6-The Psalmist issues a call to all of the earth to sing praise to God for His glory, His works, and His greatness. They should “fear” (respect, be in awe) of Him above all other gods that people worship because those gods are no more than “idols” (this Hebrew word literally means “nothing”). But God has power…this is revealed by the fact that He created the celestial heavens. There are “splendor and majesty”, “strength and beauty” in “His sanctuary”. “Sanctuary” is a reference to the revelation that we have of His nature through His Law and the worship given to Him. These things are tangible qualities that demonstrate His character and existence.
Psalm 96:7-10-The people are called upon to worship God. Our worship of Him will be reflected in our speech (:7-8a), our approach to Him (:8b), our appearance (:9a), our reverence (:9b), and our confidence (:10). The word “ascribe” (:7-NASV) means to speak of, or to proclaim something.
Psalm 96:11-13-All of creation is called upon to rejoice because God is coming to judge the world in righteousness.
Psalm 97:1-6-All land masses (including islands) are called upon to give worship to God (:1). The Psalmist uses descriptive terminology called “theophany” (the use of earthly, physical terms that describe humans to describe God’s heavenly, spiritual nature) to illustrate the reign of God. The imagery of clouds and darkness speak of the fact that we only know an infinitely small amount about God…He is largely unknown to us…far greater than and beyond the scope of our human comprehension. But it has been revealed to us that He is a God of righteousness and justice. Fire speaks of the application of this justice…it consumes and destroys those who live in opposition to His nature. Even as lightning appears to originate in the heavens and strike earth…so our knowledge of God begins with him and is revealed on earth. When that happens, all of creation worships Him.
Psalm 97:7-9-The Lord reigns above everything in creation, including all other gods that are worshipped. Therefore, those who worship these false gods should forsake them and worship Him, alone.
Psalm 97:10-12-Those that are righteous are to hate evil and to be glad in Him.
This hymn praises God as Deliverer (vv. 1-3), as King (vv. 4-6), and as Ruler (vv. 7-9).
The Ryrie Study Bible, Psalm 98, p. 891
Psalm 98:1-3-Sing a new song to the Lord because He has had victory over our adversaries and has made His salvation (deliverance) known to all people. The song is new because it is a song of what God has recently done in saving the people. It is a testimony about God’s salvation.
Psalm 98:4-6-The people are to continue singing praise to God because now that He has saved them He reigns over them as their righteous King. They live in the most blessed of all kingdoms on earth.
Psalm 98:7-9-All of the world is called upon to worship the Lord because He is the coming Judge (:9). He will set straight what wickedness and evil have harmed. Righteousness will reign in the place of wickedness.
Prayer: Lord, I cannot begin to count the times that the Psalms call on us to sing praise and worship to You. Over and again, we are admonished to do so. I pray that You will help me to live continuously in a state of praise. Let my voice praise You…but let my very life give You praise.