Questions for Littles: To whom are we to sing (v1)? What kind of song? Why—what has happened to occasion this new song? What has Yahweh made known (v2a)? What has He revealed (v2b)? In whose sight? What has He remembered (v3a)? Who has seen this (3b)? Who, then, is to shout joyfully to Him (v4)? Into what are they to break forth (4b)? What priestly instruments are named in vv5-6? What parts of creation join this praise in vv7-8? At what point (v9) has all of creation become the church?This week’s Call to Worship, Invocation, and Confession of sin came from Psalm 98. There is little that will give us a bigger view of God, a more honest view of ourselves, and therefore a more damning view of our sin than beholding God as Creator, Redeemer, King, and Judge.
Here is a Psalm that claims to be a “New Song” on the occasion of the Lord’s having won the victory, kept His covenant, spread His church, and returned to judge.
What has gained Him the victory? Not the works of men sustained by Him, but only His own work. His right hand. His holy arm. Because there was none to save, the Lord Himself has come to do the saving—by Himself alone. Hallelujah! (cf. Isa 41:28-42:4; 59:16-21)
He revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations. How? By putting on display the Pharisees, who deluded themselves into thinking that they were doing a great job of obeying the commandments? No! But by putting on display His Son as the payment for sin, showing that God’s righteousness is so complete and so exact that nothing less could ever satisfy it (cf. Rom 3:21-26).
What’s wonderful is that Jesus isn’t just displayed to the nations (at the cross, at Pentecost, and in the spread of the gospel), but He is the Savior of the nations. All who believe into Him are engrafted into Israel. God’s covenant love and covenant faithfulness to Israel (v3) turn the entire earth into His redeemed worshipers (v4).
The nations—and indeed the entire creation (cf. v7-8)—become members of the sacred assembly.
Not only do they sing and shout, but the priestly instruments which were ordained by King David are commanded here to accompany the singing (v5-6). In great David’s greater Son, the priesthood may be abolished, but there is still a melody (grace, Col 3:16) played upon an instrument (our hearts, Eph 5:19).
This is a song for when all nations shout before their King (v6) upon His coming in glory to be Judge of all (v9)! It’s a salvation song. It’s a Christian song. It’s that New Song that we will sing forever and ever in glory. May God fill our hearts with its praise already now, while we continue to wait for its final fulfillment!
How does it increase your praise to God to remember that you didn’t contribute anything to your salvation?Suggested songs: ARP98 “O Sing a New Song to the Lord” or HB161 “Joy to the World!”