Singers and Shouters
Gracious Lord, You are the source of all things good. Forgive me because I am too inclined to remember what I lack and thus tend to forget what You have given me.
Read PSALM 98
1 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 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.
4 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music;
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.
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.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Our God deserves our praise because he is Savior (1–3), King (4–6) and Judge (7–9)!
Sometimes, particularly when we have been wrestling with difficult issues, it is good just to get back to basics and to throw ourselves wholeheartedly into worshiping God—the God who has “done marvelous things” (1), the God who has “worked salvation” (1) and “made his salvation known” (2), the God who “has remembered his love” (3) and will always “judge the world in righteousness” (9). Today we can sing to him a “new song” (1). That is, a song that does not just look back but looks forward; a song that expresses the fact that today we belong to this God, today we live in his kingdom and under his love, today we rejoice in who he is and what he has done. Yes, there are things that are hard to understand. Difficult things happen to us and around us, but God remains God. It is not surprising that thinking about who God is makes the psalmist want to shout for joy” (4)! He calls on us to join him in shouting, not just to the Lord but also before people.
There is not only one way of doing this. The mention of harp, singing, trumpet and ram’s horn expresses the variety of instruments available to the psalmist and his desire to use them all. I’m sure he would have been happy to add saxophone, guitar, violin and all the other instruments available to us. He is so overwhelmed by his reflections on who God is and what God has done that he pictures the whole world joining in his singing and shouting. Even seas, rivers and mountains should be clapping and singing as God’s power and sovereignty, God’s love and God’s justice are recognized.
May we be given a deep and growing knowledge of God and the confidence and courage to sing and shout before the world so that “all who live in it” (7) might know him.
Many “joyful noises” come tumbling out in this psalm. Make a list of them. Which ones do you resonate with? Which ones don’t you connect with? Which ones do you want to develop?
Lord, breathe new life into my worship and devotion to You. I ask for a new exuberance towards You.
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