Being in northwest Ireland this week, we have seen some incredible scenery – big rolling hills and mountains, desolate beaches with white waves, powerful wind, granite rocks, and lonely valleys. All of these features of nature are witnesses to the greatness and glory of God. And no matter where we go in the world, God has left Himself with witnesses in creation because He wants all people to know Him.
Another way that God revealed Himself powerfully to the whole world was in creating and delivering the nation of Israel. As Psalm 98:1-3 says, the right hand and holy arm of the Lord (symbols of power) are cause for singing. The Lord saved Israel so that He could openly shew His righteousness to the heathen (those who don’t know God). In remembering His mercy and truth toward Israel, all ends of the earth have seen the salvation of God.
The Psalmist then looks forward (v.4-9) to the day that the Lord is revealed in the end times. No doubt it includes the coming of Christ the first time, but it also looks specifically to His second coming when He will judge the earth with righteousness and with equity. This future coming of the Lord the King should cause the whole earth to make a joyful noise, to sing to Him with all sorts of instruments, and for the natural world to lives their ‘voices’ to praise Him.
So, what we learn from this Psalm is:
- The Lord is worthy of worship and singing.
- The Lord wants the whole earth to know Him and worship Him.
- The Lord has demonstrated His power, His righteousness, and His salvation through the natural world, through the nation of Israel, and through His coming into the world the first time.
- The Lord is coming again to judge the earth, to once and for all show the world His greatness, and to finally received the universal praise He deserves from all creation and every creature.
We should give the Lord the praise He deserves. We should tell others of His greatness as the Psalmist does in this Psalm. We should point people to testimonies of God’s power and righteousness. And we should desire and commitment to do what we can so that all people everywhere know the Lord Jesus Christ.
Psalm 98:1–3 1 O sing unto the Lord a new song; For he hath done marvellous things: His right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory. 2 The Lord hath made known his salvation: His righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen. 3 He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.