The Nations Invited to Worship Jehovah
The Nations Invited to Worship Jehovah
Psalm 96. Although this is an orphan Psalm, we know the author was David because it is part of the Psalm David wrote when the ark was brought to Jerusalem (1 Chron. 16:7-36, specifically vv.23-33 are parallel with Psalm 96). This historical connection reinforces the prophetic setting; i.e. after the presence of Jehovah (the ark) is restored to Israel again, and the rightful King (David) is sitting on His throne. Prophetically, this Psalm gives the evangelical call that will go out to the Gentiles, inviting them into the courts of Jehovah, to worship Him (c.p. with Psalm 95 which was a call to the Jews). While the ground of the appeal in Psa. 95 was two-fold (Jehovah’s creatorial glory, and Israel’s relationship), in Psa. 96 the ground of the appeal is Jehovah’s creatorial glory and greatness compared to other gods. See the “everlasting gospel” in Rev. 14:6-7. However, the subject of Psalm 96 is not limited to creation. It also deals with the character of Jehovah’s kingdom. Perhaps this invitation to “all nations” will be carried out through the faithful Jewish remnant preaching the gospel of the kingdom.
1 Sing ye unto Jehovah a new song: sing unto Jehovah, all the earth.
2 Sing unto Jehovah, bless his name; publish his salvation from day to day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations, his wondrous works among all the peoples.
vv.1-3 Jehovah to be Praised by All Nations for His Works. The call goes forth to all the Gentiles to worship Jehovah; “all the earth”, “the nations”, “all the peoples”. They are called to sing “a new song” unto Jehovah. Whenever we have the expression “a new song” it refers to a recent deliverance, or a new reason for praise. The old creation song of the angels (Job 38:7) will be renewed in the Millennium! How wonderful to consider that the earth will unitedly sing the praise of Jehovah!
4 For Jehovah is great and exceedingly to be praised; he is terrible above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols; but Jehovah made the heavens.
6 Majesty and splendour are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
7 Give unto Jehovah, ye families of peoples, give unto Jehovah glory and strength;
8 Give unto Jehovah the glory of his name; bring an oblation and come into his courts;
9 Worship Jehovah in holy splendour; tremble before him, all the earth.
10 Say among the nations, Jehovah reigneth! yea, the world is established, it shall not be moved; he will execute judgment upon the peoples with equity.
vv.4-10 Jehovah to be Praised by All Nations as the Only True God. The theme of praise expresses the greatness of Jehovah, that “he is terrible above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols; but Jehovah made the heavens”. His majesty, splendor, strength, and beauty are exclaimed. All the families of the peoples (Gentiles) are called on to give glory to Jehovah, and bring a sacrifice up to His courts in Zion. All the earth will bow down before Him, and rejoice that He reigns, and that the world is established under His righteous rule.
11 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof;
12 Let the field exult and all that is therein. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy,
13 Before Jehovah, for he cometh; for he cometh to judge the earth: he will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.
vv.11-13 All Creation Rejoicing in the Reign of Jehovah. The praise extends out to the creation itself – the heavens, the earth, the sea, the field, the trees, etc. – which are called on to rejoice. In the last verse we find that this Psalm is anticipatory; i.e. it is placed just before the Lord sets up His kingdom. The character of His kingdom is righteousness and faithfulness.