1 Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
4 For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
he is to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the nations are idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
6 Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and glory are in his sanctuary.
7 Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations,
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.
9 Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth.
10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.”
The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.
11 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
12 Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
13 Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes,
he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in his faithfulness.
Sometimes an occasion is so significant it calls for a song. A birth, a wedding, a celebration: ordinary words aren’t enough, a song is called for. Sometimes an occasion is so momentous that a new song is called for: yesterday’s song won’t do, a new song must be written.
Psalm 96 calls the whole earth to sing a new song to God. What is this new song? It is a song of praise to the Lord. It is a song that proclaims his salvation. It is a song so fantastic it’s to be sung every day. This new song praises the Lord as the one true God who made everything. It sings of his splendour and majesty and strength and glory. It invites people everywhere to ascribe what is due to the Lord. It’s a song that goes out to all the nations and gathers them before the Lord. It’s sung by trees as well as people. It’s a song that all creation gets caught up in. It’s a new song that rejoices in the Lord’s righteous judgment and salvation.
Why is it a new song? It’s because the “Lord comes”. Twice we’re told in verse 13, “he comes”. The Psalm longs for the Lord himself to come and write this new song into history. It longs for the Lord to come and write this song into eternity.
When was this new song of judgment and salvation for all nations written? This new song was written in God’s great new act of salvation and judgment. This new song was written when Jesus died for our judgment, rose from the dead, and sent out his apostles with the song of salvation on their lips. He comes indeed! And soon he will come again to complete the writing of this new song, when all creation will fulfil its eager longing to join in the chorus (Romans 8:19). Let’s indeed sing this song of salvation day by day.
Head: What have you learnt about Jesus from Psalm 96? What have you learnt about yourself?
Heart: How does it make you feel that you are part of a new song sung by all creation? How can you have a joyful song at this sad and difficult time?
Hands: The songs we sing when we gather as a church are a reminder of the lives we are to live when we disperse into daily life. What will it mean for you to sing the song of Jesus’ salvation today? What difference is it making for you that we can’t physically be gather at the moment?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that Jesus came to take my judgment and to bring salvation. Thank you that he came to restore the whole of creation. Thank you that all creation will soon join the new song of Jesus in the new heavens and new earth. Help me to sing this song – to celebrate this salvation – all through today and every day to come. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.