Praise the Judge of the World
1 O sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvelous things.
His right hand and his holy arm
have gotten him victory.
2 The Lord has made known his victory;
he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.
3 He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the victory of our God.
4 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song 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
make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord.
7 Let the sea roar and all that fills it,
the world and those who live in it.
8 Let the floods clap their hands;
let the hills sing together for joy
9 at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming
to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness
and the peoples with equity.
This psalm needs to be read backwards (or from the end to the beginning.) It’s a song about God’s coming judgement. Gulp. But the theme of judgement is tucked at the end, so that we won’t let our own distaste for judgement sour the psalm.
I spent a couple of days this year in jury selection down in Bartow, and while I have a great respect for judges, I saw them as more feared/respected than loved/adored. But Psalm 98, as it speaks of God’s coming judgement, makes this all a reason for joy.
People are told to sing praises. Nature is roaring and clapping. Why?
The Lord will judge the world with righteousness, and all the people with equity. (God is fair, and loving, and marvelous.
God, let me join the great celebration of anticipating how your arrival in judgement will complete my joy. And let me learn to live as you have designed me, as I take my place with the rest of creation reveling in your love. Amen.