Psalm 96: Lessons Regarding What Jesus Christ Desires From You

Introduction: Psalm 96 has no listed no author. Most of this psalm copies David’s praise from when God allowed for the ark to return to Jerusalem (1 Chr. 16:23-33). Many, like the former British preacher Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892), believe David wrote this psalm.1 But this psalm starts with words that do not appear in David’s original writing “Sing to the Lord a new song; . ..” (Ps. 96:1). For others, this is evidence that a later author copied David’s words to praise God following another equally momentous event. Alexander Kirkpatrick (1849 – 1940), a former Professor of Hebrew at Cambridge University (1882–1903), argued that the “new song” referred to God’s deliverance of the Jews from Babylonian captivity (538-9 BC).2 The Greek Septuagint (3rd Century B.C.) lists David as the author. But its title for this psalm is: “When the house was being built after the Captivity”. 3 This most likely refers to an event that happened long after David lived. Whoever wrote this psalm, it contains many references that foreshadow the coming of Jesus Christ. This psalm points to Jesus’ desire for you to: (1) sing praise for your salvation, (2) evangelize, (3) submit to Him, (4) worship, (5) be holy, (6) have hope, and (7) trust Him.

First, the psalmist praised the “good news” of God’s “salvation.” This may have originally referenced a physical deliverance of the Jews. But it foreshadowed the “good news” of Jesus’ spiritual salvation. Jesus is worthy of your praise for the good news of your salvation. Second, the psalmist urged believers to “Tell of His glory among the nations.” This foreshadowed Jesus’ Great Commission. Every believer is urged to share Jesus’ good news with the nations. Third, the psalmist pointed out that while the pagans worshiped worthless idols, believers worship the Creator of the universe. Jesus is your Creator. He is worthy of your submission and obedience. Fourth, the psalmist praised God for the “strength and beauty” of His presence. God’s is-all powerful. But He is also filled with love. Jesus deserves your praise because He is motivated by love in use of His great power to save, protect, and care for mankind. Fifth, the psalmist urged believers to respond to God by worshiping Him in holy attire. Jesus wants you to be holy for His use because He is holy. Sixth, the psalmist stated that God will cause all creation to one day sing with joy. Jesus comes to restore all that has been lost because of sin. He also offers you both the hope and joy of your restoration. Finally, the psalmist promised that God would come to judge the Earth with righteousness. Jesus also wants you to trust Him to right the wrongs against you.

1. Salvation: Praise Jesus for the Good News of Your Salvation. Ps. 96:1-2.

  • Praise God for the blessings of His deliverance and salvation. Following a momentous event in Jewish history, the psalmist praised God for the “good news of His salvation”: “1 Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless His name; proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.” (Ps. 96:1-2). The second verse repeats David’s song of praise when the ark entered Jerusalem: “Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim good news of His salvation from day to day.” (1 Chr. 16:23). But the first verse points to a new second coming of God’s holy presence: “O sing unto the Lord a new song — Upon this new and great occasion, not the removal of the ark, wherein there was nothing new but an inconsiderable circumstance of place, but the coming of the Messiah, the confirming of the new covenant by his blood, and the calling of the Gentiles; bless and praise the name of the Lord, by singing a new, that is, an excellent song, the product of new affections, clothed with new expressions. Show forth his salvation from day to day — That great work of the redemption and salvation of the world by the Messiah.” (Benson’s commentary on Ps. 96:1-2).4

  • Sing a “new song” to praise God.  This psalm urges believers to “Sing to the Lord a new song;”  (Ps. 96:1).  Similar wording appears throughout the Bible:  “Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully with a shout of joy.”  (Ps. 33:3).  “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear and will trust in the Lord.” (Ps.  40:3). “Sing a new song to the LORD, for He has done wonderful things, His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him.”  (Ps. 98:1).  “I will sing a new song to You, O God; . . .”  (Ps. 144:9). “Praise the LORD!  Sing a new song to the LORD, and His praise in the congregation of the godly ones.”  (Ps. 149:1).  “Sing to the LORD a new song,  . . .”  (Is. 42:10).  “And they sang a new song, . . .”  (Rev. 5:9a).  Are you continually singing new praises to Jesus?  Or, has your praise for Him become stagnant?

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Sing with continuing joy to praise Jesus for your salvation5

  • Faith in God makes possible your eternal salvation. This psalm encourages you to “proclaim the good news of His salvation.” (Ps. 96:2). Thus, Charles Spurgeon called this a “grand MISSIONARY HYMN, . . .”6 God previously promised: “16 I will … show him My salvation.’” (Ps. 91:16). Another reason why many believe David wrote this is that he had the faith to repeatedly thank God for his salvation: “For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; You will not allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. You will make known to me the way of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” (Ps. 16:10-11). “To rescue their soul from death and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield.” (Ps. 33:19-20). “But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol, for He will receive me. Selah” (Ps. 49:15). “For You have saved my soul from death, indeed my feet from stumbling, so that I may walk before God in the light of the living.” (Ps. 56:13). “God is to us a God of salvation; and to GOD the Lord belong ways of escape from death.” (Ps. 68:20). “Help us, God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; and save us and forgive our sins for the sake of Your name.” (Ps. 79:9). “You have saved my soul from the depths of Sheol.” (Ps. 86:13). Through Jesus, this offer also extends to you.

  • Salvation is possible through Jesus’ atoning death on the cross. “The ‘new song’ speaks of God’s ongoing activity of redemption, not just to Israel, but to all flesh. His salvation is universal.” (Dr. Bob Utley on Ps. 96).7 Salvation was a mystery in Old Testament times (E.g., Ps. 6:5; Is. 38:18). But you can rely upon Jesus’ eternal promises of salvation: “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;” (Ro. 10:9).

  • Give thanks for your salvation. The psalms remind believers to give thanks for all God’s blessings: “But I have trusted in Your faithfulness; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.” (Ps. 13:5). “That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving and declare all Your wonders.” (Ps. 26:7). “God, You have taught me from my youth, and I still declare Your wondrous deeds.” (Ps. 71:17). “A Psalm of Asaph, a Song. We give thanks to You, God, we give thanks, for Your name is near; people declare Your wondrous works.” (Ps. 75:1). “12 I will give thanks to You, Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forever.” (Ps. 86:12). Jesus also deserves your praise. You can also show your gratitude by making your life a living sacrifice to Him (Ro. 12:1).

2. Evangelism: Share the Good News of Jesus Across the Nations. Ps. 96:3.

  • God planned for His people to share the good news of salvation with the gentile nations. This psalm further urges believers to share the glorious, good news of salvation with all the pagan nations: “Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.” (Ps. 96:3). Many commentators have seen a foreshadowing between this verse and the call for believers to evangelize the nations: “When Christ finished his work on earth, and was received into his glory in heaven, the church began to sing a new song unto Him, and to bless His name. His apostles and evangelists showed forth His salvation among the heathen, His wonders among all people.” (Matthew Henry on Ps. 96:1-3).8 This is a “[c]all to the nation of Jahve to sing praise to its God and to evangelize the heathen.” (Keil and Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary on Ps. 93:3).9

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Jesus wants you to share His light with all the nations10

  • God’s plan for the Jews to evangelize the pagan nations. This verse repeats David’s proclamation upon the entry of the ark in Jerusalem to share God’s good news: “Give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name; make His deeds known among the peoples.” (1 Chr. 16:8). Many other psalms also recorded the psalmists’ urging for believers to share God’s good news: “That Your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations.” (Ps. 67:2). “I have proclaimed good news of righteousness in the great congregation; behold, I will not restrain my lips, LORD, You know.” (Ps. 40:9). “Sing praises to the LORD, who dwells in Zion; declare His deeds among the peoples.” (Ps. 9:11). “I will proclaim Your name to my brothers; in the midst of the assembly I will praise You.” (Ps. 22:18). “Come and hear, all who fear God, and I will tell of what He has done for my soul.” (Ps. 66:16). “I still declare Your wondrous deeds.” (Ps. 71:16). “Give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name; make His deeds known among the peoples.” (Ps. 105:1). “They shall also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of His works with joyful singing.” (Ps. 107:22). “They will speak of the glory of Your kingdom, and talk of Your might, to make known to the sons of mankind Your mighty acts, and the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom.” (Ps. 145:11-12). Thus, God always meant for the Jews to be a light to the gentile nations: “He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the protected ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” (Is. 49:6). Thus, evangelism had its roots in the Old Testament.

  • Jesus also wants you to share your testimony and evangelize others. Jesus also wants you to share your testimony to let others know what He has done for you: “And he went away and began to proclaim in Decapolis what great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed.” (Mk. 5:20). When you accept Jesus, His light shines within you as a beacon for others: “14 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:14-16). As part of Jesus’ Great Commission, He urges believers to share His offer of salvation: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  (Matt. 28:18-20).  Are you sharing the good news Jesus’ offer of salvation with nonbelievers?

  • Jesus revealed His glory on Earth, but many failed to understand it.  This palm called for believers to “Tell of His glory . . .” (Ps. 96:3). Jesus was born into the line of David (Matt. 1:1).  He came to fulfill God’s covenant with David as the eternal King of Kings (Lk. 1:32-33; Rev. 19:16). The glory of God the Father was also revealed through Him: “And the Word became flesh  . . .  and we saw His glory, glory as the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”  (Jo. 1:14).  “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,” (Heb. 1:3). Peter also observed that the disciples were witnesses to Jesus’ majesty: “For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.” (2 Pet. 1:16). But only those with faith can see that Jesus is the light of the world (Jo. 8:12). Many cannot comprehend His light because they love evil (Jo. 3:19).  “in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they will not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”  (2 Cor. 4:4).  Thus, they crucified Him:  “the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;”  (1 Cor. 2:8).

  • Jesus will reveal His full glory to all in heaven.  This psalm foreshadows the arrival of God’s glory with the return of the Messiah. After Jesus returns, His Shekinah glory will again be present in the Temple (Micah 4:1-8; Zech. 14:3-9).  In heaven, you will also see His Shekinah glory without the need for a veil  (1 Jo. 3:2).  So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;” (1 Cor. 15:42-43). “When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” (Col. 3:4). “who will transform the body of our lowly condition into conformity with His glorious body, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.” (Phil. 3:21). “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Ro. 8:18). You “will see His face. . . [and] the Light of God (“Shekinah glory”) will illumine them forever and ever.”  (Rev. 22:5).  “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.  When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,”  (Heb. 1:3).  “LORD, I love the dwelling of Your house, and the place where Your glory remains.”  (Ps. 26:8).  “Be exalted above the heavens, God; may Your glory be  above all the earth.”  (Ps. 57:11). Again, Jesus is worthy of your praise. He died a horrific death on the cross to make it possible for you to share in His glory.

3. Submission: Submit to Jesus, the Creator of the Universe. Ps. 96:4-5.

  • God is our Creator. While the pagans worshiped worthless, fake idols, Yahweh is the omnipotent Creator of the universe and all life: “For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.” (Ps. 96:4-5). “For all the gods of the nations are idols; rather, vanities, or nothings. In the original there is a play upon the words – the elohim of the nations are mere elilim. Elilim is a favorite designation of the heathen gods in Isaiah. Compare the statement of St. Paul, ‘We know that an idol is nothing in the world’ (1 Corinthians 8:4). But the Lord made the heavens. That which is nothing can do nothing, can make nothing. How far superior is Jehovah, who ‘made the heavens’ (comp. Genesis 1:1Isaiah 42:5Isaiah 44:24)!” (Pulpit Commentary on Ps. 96:5).11

  • God is unique as our Creator with no rival. This psalm declares that God “is to be feared above all gods.” (Ps. 96:4). Other psalms contain similar declarations: “For the Lord is a great God and a great King above all gods,” (Ps. 95:3). “For You are the LORD Most High over all the earth; You are exalted far above all gods.” (Ps. 97:9). Moses was also amazed that he was privileged to worship the one true God, who is unlike any pagan idol: “Who is like You among the gods, LORD? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders?” (Ex. 15:11). “Now I know that the LORD is greater than all the gods; indeed, it was proven when they acted insolently against the people.” (Ex. 18:11). Pagan idols are worthless and have no power next to Him. Thus, there you should submit to Jesus alone and no other worldly idol or influence.

  • Praise God for the beauty of His creation. As evidence of God’s omnipotent power, this psalm declares: “the Lord made the heavens.” (Ps. 96:4-5). David’s praise upon the arrival of the ark contains the same words of praise found in this psalm: “For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the LORD made the heavens.” (1 Chr. 16:26). God’s glory can be seen through His creation: “A Psalm of David. The heavens tell of the glory of God; and their expanse declares the work of His hands.” (Ps. 19:1). “And blessed be His glorious name forever; and may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen.” (Ps. 72:19). The psalmist Ethan also declared that the “heavens will praise Your wonders.” (Ps. 89:5). “The heavens declare His righteousness, and all the peoples have seen His glory.”  (Ps. 97:6). “however, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the LORD.” (Nu. 14:21). “ . . . The whole earth is full of His glory.” (Is. 6:3). “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” (Hab. 2:14). Those who deny the evidence of God’s glory in His creation are “without excuse” before God: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, being understood by what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” (Ro. 1:20).

4. Worship: Praise Jesus for His Loving Use of His Great Power. Ps. 96:6-8.

  • God’s mighty power is beautiful because it is filled with His love for mankind. Unlike a powerful human ruler who can use his or her power for an ugly purpose, God’s power is glorious and beautiful because He uses His power to help His people: “Splendor and majesty are before Him, strength and beauty are in His sanctuary. 7 Ascribe to the Lord, you families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory of His name; bring an offering and come into His courtyards.” (Ps. 96:6-8). Jesus showed His beautiful power and love through His atoning sacrifice on the cross.

  • Worship the Creator of the universe, who is sovereign over everything.  The psalmist responded to the loving Creator of all life by worshiping Him:  “May you be blessed of the LORD, maker of heaven and earth.”  (Ps. 115:15).  “Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.”  (Ps. 124:8).  “May the LORD bless you from Zion, He who made heaven and earth.”  (Ps. 134:3).  If you have the faith to celebrate that God created everything, you can have the faith to know that He is in control. He causes all things to work together for His greater good (Ro. 8:28). You may recognize Jesus as your Savior. But do you love Him enough to make Him Lord over your life?

  • God’s creation reveals His majestic glory. God’s glory is a source of incredible beauty: “One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek:  That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD and to meditate in His temple.”  (Ps. 27:4). Upon the arrival of the ark in Jerusalem, Davis also proclaimed that His glory is filled with His beauty and power: “Splendor and majesty are before Him, strength and joy are in His place. Ascribe to the LORD, you families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come before Him; . . .” (1 Chr. 16:27-29a). “Ascribe to the LORD, sons of the mighty, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength . . . The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth and strips the forests bare; and in His temple everything says, “Glory!”  (Ps. 29:1, 9). “Ascribe strength to God; His majesty is over Israel, and His strength is in the skies.” (Ps. 68:34). “The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty; the LORD has clothed and encircled Himself with strength. Indeed, the world is firmly established; it will not be moved.” (Ps. 93:1). “Bless the LORD, my soul! LORD my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty,” (Ps. 104:1). “Splendid and majestic is His work, and His righteousness endures forever.” (Ps. 111:3). The power and beauty of His glory you will be able to enjoy forever in heaven. This is one of the many reasons to praise Jesus and worship Him.

  • Out of love, God uses His power to protect you: Jesus loves you so much that He died on the cross for you: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16; 2 Cor. 1:3-4). Out of love, God uses His power to protect you: “Now Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, and the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day against the Philistines and confused them, so that they were routed before Israel.” (1 Sam. 7:10). Thus, God deserves your worship.

  • Praise God for using His power to cause all things to work together for good. Whenever you face a trial or a hardship, you can praise God because He is in control and causes all things to fulfill a greater plan: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Ro. 8:28). When the reasons for a trial are unknown, do you still praise God?

  • Sing praises for His incredible power. God wants you to trust in His absolute power. “Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You,’ . . . ‘Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?”’ (Jer. 32:17, 27). “And looking at them Jesus said to them, ‘With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”’ (Matt. 19:26; Gen. 18:14). If God does not respond to your prayer request, it may be because you are asking amiss or it is not His will. Yet, if He does not respond, it will never be because He lacks the power to do so.

  • Have faith that there is nothing God cannot do. When you have faith in God’s power, there is nothing that He cannot do for you: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13). “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service,” (1 Tim. 1:12). The next time you feel that you have an unsolvable challenge, meditate on God’s awesome power.

5. Holiness: Be Holy For Jesus’ Use Because He is Holy. Ps. 96:9.

  • Be reverent before God’s holy glory. Sin cannot be in God’s holy presence. Thus, every person should first repent of their sins and seek to be reverent and holy before God: “Worship the Lord in holy attire; tremble before Him, all the earth.” (Ps. 96:9). “The psalmist called the world to worship God in recognition of His holiness, and to see that there is a beauty connected to His holiness. Beauty and holiness are not often connected ideas in our popular culture. Yet in reality, there is surpassing allure and attractiveness in true holiness. If a purported type of holiness has little beauty, it may not be true holiness . . . God’s holiness – His “set-apart-ness” – has a wonderful and distinct beauty about it. It is beautiful that God is God and not man, that He is more than the greatest man or a super-man. His holy love, grace, justice, and majesty are beautiful.” (David Guzik on Ps. 96) (emphasis original).12

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Be holy and reverent in your worship of Jesus13

  • Praise God for His holiness. The Bible celebrates God because He is holy. “Who is like You among the gods, LORD? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders?” (Ex. 15:11). “And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the LORD God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.’” (Rev. 4:8; Is. 6:3). “ . . . holiness is pleasing to Your house, Lord, forevermore.” (Ps 93:5b). His holiness is also worthy of your praise and worship.

  • Jesus’ holiness guides you when you are in darkness. God’s holiness includes a beauty that is unlike anything human eyes have seen: “The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty; the LORD has clothed and encircled Himself with strength. Indeed, the world is firmly established; it will not be moved.” (Ps. 93:1). Because He is holy, Jesus’ light can also guide you in darkness. When you feel trapped in darkness, He wants you to call Him to be your light: “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.” (Jo. 1:4). “Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the Light of the world; the one who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”’ (Jo. 8:12). “I have come as Light into the world, so that no one who believes in Me will remain in darkness.” (Jo. 12:46). When you feel trapped in darkness, cry out to Jesus for His light.

  • Be holy because God is holy. Because God is holy, He expects His people to be holy as well: “For I am the LORD your God . . . be holy, for I am holy.” (Lev. 11:44). “Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.” (Lev. 19:2). “You are to be my holy people.” (Ex. 22:31). “for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’” (1 Pet. 1:16). To become holy, Jesus began His public ministry with a call to repentance. “From that time Jesus began to preach and say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”’ (Matt. 4:17). Jesus came “saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”’ (Mk. 1:15). His disciples also began their ministry with a call to repentance: “Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”’ (Acts 2:38). If you say that you are without sin, the Bible says that the truth is not in you (1 Jo. 1:8). Yet, if you confess your sins, Jesus promises to forgive your sins: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 Jo. 1:9). What sins do you need to repent of?

  • Show God reverent respect in your worship. God wanted the Jews to “worship the Lord in holy attire.” (Ps. 96:9). In the similar tribute to God upon the return of the ark, David also told the Jews “29 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come before Him; worship the Lord in holy array.” (1 Chr. 16:29). He then told the Jews “Tremble before Him” (1 Chr. 16:30). Jehoshaphat gave a similar instruction for the Jews to worship in holy attire: “When he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the LORD and those who praised Him in holy attire, . . .” (2 Chr. 20:21a). Other psalms contain similar directions for worship “Worship the LORD in holy attire;” (Ps. 29:2). “Come, let’s worship and bow down, let’s kneel before the LORD our Maker.” (Ps. 95:6). These verses stress an important point that is frequently forgotten in the modern Church; believers should approach God with reverence and respect in their worship.

6. Hope: Jesus Offers You Both the Hope and Joy of Restoration. Ps. 96:10-12.

  • God’s promised restoration of creation will bring great joy. Although all creation suffers because of mankind’s original sin, God will one day restore His creation and bring joy: “10 Say among the nations, ‘The Lord reigns; indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved; He will judge the peoples fairly.’ 11 May the heavens be joyful, and may the earth rejoice; may the sea roar, and all it contains; 12 may the field be jubilant, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy.” (Ps. 96:10-12). “All creation rejoices (personification) at the coming of the Creator (i.e., Ps. 103:19-22; 145:10; Isa. 49:13; Rom. 8:19-22).” (Dr. Bob Utley on Ps. 96:11-12).14

  • Mankind has brought suffering upon creation, but Jesus comes to restore it. Paul wrote that all creation suffers because of mankind’s sins: “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. (Ro. 8:20-22). “How long is the land to mourn, and the vegetation of the countryside to dry up? Due to the wickedness of those who live in it, animals and birds have been snatched away, because people have said, ‘He will not see our final end.”’ (Jer. 12:4). But Jesus comes to restore His creation. He alone is worthy to restore title to the Earth and redeem mankind’s sins: “And one of the elders said to me, ‘Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to be able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”’ (Rev. 5:5).

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Praise Jesus for the joy and restoration that He offers you15

7. Trust: Place Your Trust in Jesus to Right the Wrongs Against You. Ps. 96:13.

  • God will judge with righteousness. God’s restoration of His creation will include His fair and just judgment of all that is evil: “13 Before the Lord, for He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in His faithfulness.” (Ps. 96:13). “[F]or he cometh, for he cometh; which is repeated to show the certainty of Christ's coming, and the importance of it, and the just reason there was for the above joy and gladness on account of it; and it may be also, as Jerom and others have observed, to point out both the first and second coming of Christ, which are both matter of joy to the saints:” (Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible, Ps. 96:13).16

  • Praise God for His righteousness. As an example for believers to follow, the psalms repeatedly praise God for His righteousness: “God is a righteous judge, and a God who shows indignation every day.” (Ps. 7:11). “For You have maintained my just cause; You have sat on the throne judging righteously.” (Ps. 9:4). “For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; the upright will see His face.” (Ps. 11:7). “He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.” (Ps. 33:5). “I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your mercy and Your truth from the great congregation.” (Ps. 40:10). “And the heavens declare His righteousness, for God Himself is judge. Selah” (Ps. 50:6). “The heavens declare His righteousness, and all the peoples have seen His glory.” (Ps. 97:6). “Or what great nation is there that has statutes and judgments as righteous as this whole Law which I am setting before you today?” (Dt. 4:8). “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will also help you, I will also uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Is. 41:10). Because God is righteous, you can trust Him to keep His promises.

  • Jesus will reign with justice and righteousness.  Jesus is our righteous judge  (2 Tim. 4:8).  “I can do nothing on My own initiative.  As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”  (Jo. 5:30).  “But even if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone in it, but I and the Father who sent Me.”  (Jo. 8:16).  While David, Solomon, and Israel’s other kings sinned, Jesus never will.  His reign will be perfect, just, and righteous. “1 Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch from his roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding . . . with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the humble of the earth; . . . Also righteousness will be the belt around His hips, and faithfulness the belt around His waist.” (Is. 11:1-5). “There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore.”  (Is. 9:7; 16:5).  “Behold, a king will reign righteously, and officials will rule justly.” (Is. 32:1). ‘“Behold, the days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land.”’  (Jer. 23:5; Is. 24:15; 42:4; Zech. 9:9-10).  He will judge evil and deliver His people. Thus, you can trust Him to be fair and just and right every wrong against you.

  1. Kirkpatrick, A (1906) Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges on Ps. 96; Psalm 96 - Wikipedia↩︎

  2. Image credit: (141) Pinterest↩︎

  3. Image credit: (141) Pinterest↩︎