Since I heard this psalm I keep on coming back to it. From starting off particularly liking a couple of the verses it has spread to my appreciation of the psalm as a whole. It is easy to understand and yet explains such a lot!
Psalm 96: Worship in the Splendour of Holiness
1 Oh sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
What a rejoicing way to start a bible passage: Sing to the Lord! Bless his name day to day! The spirit and newness of this declaration is just what we need on a blue morning. Imagine if we woke up each day and the first thing we read was this?
3 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
4 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be feared above all gods.
The psalmist says to think big. Don’t just tell your close friends about how great God is – share it ‘among the nations’!
5 For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
6 Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
I quoted verse five in a recent post on false idols here. When we idolise other humans far more than we do God it seems ironic. They are God’s creation. He is the creator itself! He has the strength to help us and made us a beautiful world to enjoy.
7 Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!
8 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering, and come into his courts!
This repetition of ‘ascribe’ is perhaps easier understood by temporarily replacing it with the word ‘accredit’. The Lord is worth all of this credit, so it is important we play our part and worship Him.
9 Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth!
10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!
Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.”
In my opinion, this is one of the most powerful parts of the psalm. It says to fear the Lord as He will judge you. Then it becomes more reassuring when it say that, although you will be judged, it will be with equity. I think this is a wonderful answer to those doubting who will or will not be saved on the day of judgement.
11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
12 let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
I think this is such a beautiful quote that I used it as an introduction to my post a couple of days ago on nature. I describes the way God conducts nature and with anthropomorphism it creates the image of nature praising God.
13 before the Lord, for he comes,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness,
and the peoples in his faithfulness.
In conclusion, it tells us of His coming to judge the world in righteousness and faithfulness – what wonderful qualities of a wonderful God.
See you tomorrow as I continue my 40 day Lent series!