TUESDAY, MAY 11
Praise for the Lord’s purpose which is to bring joy to His world
1 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.
“Sing to the Lord” – This is a song of praise from start to finish, unlike many psalms that begin and end with praise.
“Marvellous things” – Used elsewhere for miraculous encounters such as the picture of salvation which is in the Exodus, Psalm 106:7
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 Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
“Made His salvation known” – Praise for His victory in bringing His order. God in His faithfulness has remembered His covenant of steadfast love.
4 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music;
“Shout for joy… all the earth” – this psalm was the inspiration behind Isaac Watts’ hymn ‘Joy to the World’.
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.
The psalmist invites the whole earth to join in making music to praise God, see also Psalm 96:1. This psalm parallels Psalm 96 in many places.
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.
“Judge the world in righteousness” – is expressed here as an eager anticipation of the coming of the righteous Judge, Psalm 96:11-13. God’s judgment, which is always righteous, and His vindication of those who have suffered injustice, often share the same original words, because they are the same idea.
“Judge the earth” – salvation in Christ Jesus (vv.2-3) and the righteous rule of the Messiah brings with it (unlike religions generally) the possibility of renewal and blessing for everyone on earth. All can turn to a personal God.
It’s too easy for us to view our glass as half-empty, when perhaps we should be more ready to praise God for being on standby to fill everybody’s glass.
That’s not always easy – in fact, it might call for an intentional and quite courageous stance, to praise God for His goodness, when our situation seems to be at odds with that. We don’t find ot easy to go against our feelings.
But praise is powerful, especially the praise of Our God for who He is over and above what He has done. When everything is going pear-shaped, it’s time to praise God and remind him and all the heavenlies of who He is. There could hardly be a better place to start than reading out the words of truth in this psalm. It’s telling God that you know His goodness and mercy are following you, even in what seems like the valley of the shadow of death. Try it and see how quickly the oppression and hopelessness lifts!
For reflection and discussion
How ready are you to tell God how good He is, even if events around you seem to be preaching the opposite?
Also published on Medium.