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Reading:                                         Psalm 98

A psalm.

Verses 1-6

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 L
ORD 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 L
ORD, the King (NIV).

Reflection

Once again in Psalm 98 the psalmist calls us to break forth with a new song of praise to our God. This call to worship is a frequent theme in many psalms. In this case the cause for worship is well worth noting. We are to worship in music and song because of the salvation of our God. 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.

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Petrie Island sunset — photo by David Kitz

To some extent these words trouble me. What salvation is the psalmist talking about? Is he referring to the miraculous redemption and rescue of Israel from slavery in Egypt? That’s the most significant act of national salvation in the Old Testament. On the other hand, the psalmist could be referring to the restoration of the Jewish nation after the destruction of the temple and the Babylonian captivity. Again this is a very significant event that was witnessed by the surrounding nations. Since we do not have a timeline or date for when this psalm was written, we are left guessing the answer.

For the New Testament believer we see the fulfillment of this psalm in the salvation that was won for us by Christ at the cross. There the ancient powers of sin, hell and the grave were defeated. Death itself was vanquished through the resurrection of Jesus. In reality, the true enemies of the people of God are not foreigners or foreign nations. Our enemies are spiritual; they lurk within—within us. Salvation from those enemies was purchased at the cross with the precious blood of Jesus.

Now here is a bizarre twist. Salvation arrives when we stop fighting. It arrives with our surrender. It arrives when we surrender our lives to our Savior and kneel before our King on a cross. That’s a salvation worth singing about!

Response: LORD God, I am so grateful for the salvation you purchased for me through the blood of Jesus. I want all the ends of the earth to know about that great salvation. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.

Your Turn: Have you knelt before the King on a cross? Take some time to do that now.