1 Oh 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.
Psalm 98:1-3 ESV
- Yesterday someone on Facebook asked the world if there was anyone in whom people could have faith. One person replied, “Me.” I asked, “What makes you worthy of my faith?” There was no answer. The Psalmist looked around and asked, “In whom can I put my faith?” He found an answer. What convinced him that the Lord was worthy of his faith?
- What made the psalmist say the God remembered his “steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel?”
- Would you agree with the psalmist that “all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God”? If you agree, why do secular thinkers say that God does not exist?
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!
Psalm 98:4-6 ESV
- The psalmist is very happy to know that he can have faith in God. What makes him think everyone should join him in the celebration?
- Sometimes people say that they chose the church they attend because of the music. Does this psalm suggest that this is a good basis for their decision?
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.
- After inviting all people to use all the instruments they can find to praise the Lord, the psalmist invites creation to join the praise. Think of at least three times when you would have said that creation is praising the Lord.
- Most people do not want to be judges, but the psalmist says that one reason to sing praise to God is “for ye comes to judge the earth.” What is it about God’s judgment that should make us want to sing praises to him?
- The last word in this psalm is equity. In contemporary political argument, equity appears fairly often. Sometimes it refers to a sense of ownership in human society. At other times is refers to a desired balance in the distribution of money. Why does the psalmist use this word?
- Imagine singing this psalm. Make up a melody, or use a psalm chant such as the ones in liturgical hymnals. Make it your own. In comments below, tell what it means to you to make a psalm your own.
By Katherine Harms, author of Oceans of Love available for Kindle at Amazon.com.
Image: Torah Scroll
License: Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0