Sing a New Song to the LORD (Psalm 98)

Date: 12/24/2017
More audio from All Saints Church
Type: Sunday Sermon
Topic: Praise
Organization: All Saints
Price: FREE

Psalm 98 - O sing to the LORD a new song, For He has done wonderful things, His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him.  2 The LORD has made known His salvation; He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations.  3 He has remembered His lovingkindness and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. 4 Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises. 5 Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre, With the lyre and the sound of melody. 6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn Shout joyfully before the King, the LORD. 7 Let the sea [storm] roar and all it contains, The world and those who dwell in it. 8 Let the rivers clap their hands, Let the mountains sing together for joy 9 Before the LORD, for He is coming to judge the earth; He will judge the world with righteousness And the peoples with equity.

Chiastic Outline of Psalm 98
A. All Earth to Sing (new song) of His Victory (v1)
     B. All Earth Sees Salvation (v2)
         C. Covenant Love of Israel (v3)
             D. All Earth Sees Salvation (v3b)
             D’. All Earth Praises the Savior (v4)
         C’. Covenant Praise of Israel (vv5-6)
     B’. All Earth (Creation) Praises the Savior (v7-8)
A’. [For] All Earth Judged in Righteousness (v9)

Psalm 98 is one of the many, many predictive prophecies of the coming and reign of the Messiah. Just so, it forms a background text to Jesus’ birth narrative in Luke 2, as well as many other aspects of Christ’s ministry and reign. It looks forward to the consummation of Christ’s reign when all enemies are abolished (Ps. 110; 1Cor. 15:25-26).

The Power of the Redeemer (vv 1-3) - The call to “sing a new song to the LORD [YHWH]” (Ps. 33:3, 96:1, 149:1) is repeated in the Psalter, as well as in Isaiah 40ff. This “new song” (chadash shir) is focused on the whole earth, including all the Gentile nations, and in this case the creation itself. The cause of this “new song” is the power of the LORD, the Redeemer, shown in several parallel statements: 1) “For He has done wonderful things, [expansive parallel] His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him.” The LORD has done “wonderful works” (pala), a term which is used of Exodus miracles and other works of power (Ex. 3:20, 34:10; Jer. 32:17). 2) “The LORD has made known His salvation; [parallel] He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations” (v 2). He has, through His power revealed His plan of deliverance-salvation before the world. 3) “He has remembered His lovingkindness and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; [expansive parallel] All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.” The lovingkindness or covenant love (hesed) is focused on fulfilled promises to Israel (e.g., Gen. 12, 15, 17); yet it is ultimately for “all the families of the earth” (Gen. 12; Ps. 22:27).

The Praise of the Redeemed (vv 4-9) - Seeing the power of God that brings salvation and deliverance calls forth extravagant and effusive praise from the redeemed: 1) “Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; [parallel] Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises.” This exclamation of praise is from “all the earth.” The redeemed are to “shout joyfully”  (ru’a), a term used of Jericho’s wall crushing cry (Josh. 6:5). “Break forth” is frequently used in Isaiah (e.g. 14:7, 44:23, 55:12). 2) “Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre, [parallel] With the lyre and the sound of melody…trumpets…” (vv 5-6), using instruments of temple worship (1Chr. 25). Sing praises (zamar) is paralleled with the “voice of melody” (kol zimrah), e.g., vocal praise accompanied by singing. 3) “Let the sea roar and all it contains . . . Let the rivers clap their hands, Let the mountains sing together for joy” (vv 7-8). The praise of creation is echoed in the full consummation of new creation (Rom. 8:19-21). 4) “Before the LORD, for He is coming to judge the earth; He will judge the world with righteousness And the peoples with equity” (v 9). The final reason “for” universal praise is that the LORD will judge the world in righteousness and equity.

Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more