MODEL OF BIBLICAL WORSHIP

Opening Prayer

I praise you and thank you, Lord God, for the countless ways you sustain and provide for me and those I love.

Read PSALM 98

Psalm 98

A psalm.

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.
The Lord has made his salvation known
    and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
He has remembered his love
    and his faithfulness to Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen
    the salvation of our God.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
    burst into jubilant song with music;
make music to the Lord with the harp,
    with the harp and the sound of singing,
with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
    shout for joy before the Lord, the King.

Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
    let the mountains sing together for joy;
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.

Meditate

“Let all the world in every corner sing, / ‘My God and King!’”1

Think Further

This psalm is very similar to Psalm 96, expressing the same joyous sense of the worthiness of Israel’s saving God to be worshipped by the nations and the whole of creation. It begins by recalling the Lord’s great salvation, which is not some private affair, but public, historical reality that has been shown to all nations. The deliverance of Israel and the gift of righteousness to it is an event of international significance and embodies the promise of redemption for all the people on earth. Such an event demands a ‘new song’ (v. 1) because it transcends the limits of all previous compositions.

So great is this God and so wonderful his salvation that the whole earth is invited to join in the song, and a full panoply of instruments will be needed to celebrate his grace appropriately. One has the feeling that the corporate worship within the Jerusalem Temple must have been something really extraordinary. Even that ecstatic praise, however, is insufficient to do justice to the Lord and the ‘marvelous things’ he has done (v. 1), so the whole of creation is summoned to contribute to the everlasting song: sea, world, rivers, mountains – all are called to ‘sing before the Lord’ their Creator (v. 9). The entire natural world seems to be set in motion by the glory of God, resulting in the magnificent harmony of an ‘exultant chorus of the whole world singing praises to the glory of God.’2

Set this picture against the ecological issues of our times and a natural world which, instead of joining in celebration, appears to be in mourning as the extinction of species accelerates. This glorious psalm suggests that there is no mere technological fix; only as the human race learns to worship God will the chorus of the created world strike up again.

Apply

Find the wonderful poem of praise with which we began and make it your own today.

Closing prayer

I rejoice, Father, because I know that Christ died and rose for me—and now, in heaven, intercedes for me.

Last Updated on June 30, 2024 by kingstar

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