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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Psalm 96: A Glorious and Chilling Psalm

I can't stop thinking about this Psalm. I have so often over-looked it because the first few verses seemed so common to me. "Oh sing to the Lord a new song" sounds suspiciously like Psalms 95, 97, and 98. But then, this Psalm goes on.

Sing to the LORD, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods.

I have to separate verse 5 just because it is so amazing to me.

5For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens.
Even though it was not indicated, I had to take a Selah there. The Lord made the heavens. There is something to meditate on. Look at that comparison! Think about all of our worthless idols. Then think about the God who made the heavens!

6Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.


7Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength! 8Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts! 9Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!

God made the heavens, dwells in majesty, lives in perfect holiness. The Psalmist tells us to "bring an offering." I couldn't help but think of Romans 12:1-2. What is our reasonable worship to this God, at which "all the earth...tremble[s]?" Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God...Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

It is the last bit that really got me.

Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
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.

This Psalm is framed very well. It starts by saying, "Declare his glory" to all. It ends by stating the sure coming of God (Jesus) as judge.

Why are the trees happy? BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN GROANING!!!!EVER SINCE THEY WERE SUBJECTED TO FUTILITY (Romans 8:22). They are glad because God is surely coming! But he won't be judging them! The lord doesn't need to judge the trees; they bring him glory every day! They declare is invisible attributes and divine nature (Romans 1:20) as their branches reach toward heaven.

God is coming to Judge the peoples!

I think an ellipses will help to show the power of this Psalm. Check it out.

Declare his glory among the people...for he will judge the world in righteousness.

Let us TELL THE PEOPLES so that they can sing with the trees, the sea, and the rest of the saints when Jesus comes in judgement. This Psalm is a chilling reminder to Declare the power of God for salvation.

Serve your king.


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