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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

September 23 2023

Sing to the LORD…”

Psalm 96:1-6

1 Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! Sing to the LORD, all the earth.

2 Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.

3 Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.

4 For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.

5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens.

6 Honor and majesty are before Him; Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.

7 Give to the LORD, O families of the peoples, Give to the LORD glory and strength.

8 Give to the LORD the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come into His courts.

9 Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth.

10 Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns; The world also is firmly established, It shall not be moved; He shall judge the peoples righteously."

11 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; Let the sea roar, and all its fullness;

12 Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the LORD.

13 For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, And the peoples with His truth.

It appears that Psalm 96 and Psalm 95 are companion psalms or songs that were an invitation to worship the LORD. Psalm 95 was an invitation specifically to the nation Israel to “come and sing and worship”, while Psalm 96 is an invitation to all the nations of the whole earth to “sing to the LORD, all the earth”.

There are several interesting things about this psalm. You will find this same psalm in its entirety in 1 Chronicles 16:23-33. It appears that King David wrote this Psalm for the celebration and worship service that took place when he brought the ark of covenant and placed it in the tabernacle that he had just erected in Jerusalem. Another interesting sidelight of this psalm is that it contains the center verse of the Bible (v. 11). "Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof." There is something fitting in that. At the very heart of the Bible is a call for this planet to lift its voice in joyful song. This is what God plans in the crowning day that is yet to come.

Sing! sing! sing! That is how this psalm begins. It calls us to joyful worship because all glory belongs to Him. Give! Give! Give! (vv. 7-8). That is how the psalm continues. It calls us to joyful worship because all gifts belong to Him. Let! Let! Let! (vv. 11-12). That is how the psalm ends. It calls us to joyful worship because all government belongs to Him. This is one of the great Hebrew hymns that celebrates the coming reign of Christ. It is another of the theocratic psalms. Like others in this particular collection, it seems to have been chosen especially to celebrate the emancipation of Israel from the Babylonian captivity and the opening of the new temple in Jerusalem. The repatriated Hebrews saw in this stirring event evidence of God's sovereignty over the nations and assurance that one day He would establish on earth a kingdom stretching from pole to pole and from sea to sea, from the river to the ends of the earth.

Three times we are commanded to sing to the Lord, and this parallels the three times in verses 7-8 that the psalmist commands us to "give", which means to "ascribe," glory to Him. First, we are told to “sing a new song”. We should want to do this when we have a new experience of God's blessing, when we discover a new truth in God’s Word, when we are given a new beginning after a crisis, or when we have a new open door for service for the LORD. All of these can make an old song new or give us a new song from the Lord.

This call to worship is not extended to Israel alone but also to the Gentile nations (vv. 3, 7, 9, 11, 13). One day when Jesus reigns on earth, all nations will come to Jerusalem to worship Him (Isaiah 2:1-4). It will be a time when the glory of God will be revealed to all peoples (vv. 3, 7-8; Gen. 12:1-3; 22:18; Isa. 60:1-3). In the Greek translation of the Old Testament, "proclaim" (v. 2) is the word used in the New Testament for "preaching the good news" and gives us the English word "evangelize."

We are to let all the peoples of every tribe, kindred, language, and nation of the earth know about the good news of the salvation and victory that only Jesus Christ can give us! This is gives us something to sing about, for He is the only Savior and will save all who trust Him (John 14:6; John 4:22; Acts 4:12; Rom. 10:1-15).

God bless!

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