Psalm 96

The Word Made Fresh

1Sing a new song to the LORD.
Let the whole world sing it!
2Sing praises to the LORD,
and tell how God saves us every day.
3Tell of God’s glory in the seats of government in every nation.
Tell about God’s marvelous deeds to all the people.
4For the LORD is great indeed, and should be greatly praised
and honored above all gods,
5for the gods of other peoples are nothing but statues,
but the LORD made the heavens above.
6Honor and majesty belong to God.
Strength and beauty are displayed in God’s sanctuary.
7Oh, you families of the people,
proclaim the glory and might of the LORD.
8Proclaim the glory the LORD deserves.
Bring an offering and come to God’s courtyard.
9Worship the LORD in a sacred gathering,
and let the whole world tremble before our God.
10Tell every nation, “The LORD rules!
The earth is on a solid foundation,
and no matter how much you change your borders,
you cannot change the bounds of the earth!”
11So, let the heavens be glad and the earth be joyful!
Let the oceans and all that is in them roar!
12Let the fields and all that is in them crow in elation!
And the trees of the forest sing for sheer gladness!
13For the LORD is coming, coming to judge the earth,
and God will judge the earth rightly,
and judge the people with truth.


1-6: I occasionally include hymns in the order of a worship service that I know will be unfamiliar to the congregation. One Sunday a worshiper exited the service and chided me with, “I know the Good Book says, ‘sing to the LORD a new song,’ but it doesn’t say all three of them have to be new!” A point well taken, but this psalm is right in bidding us to sing a new song from time to time because creation is not a static work; it is a work that is still in progress and God is always in the process of making all things new. God’s work in creation is what sets God apart from and above all the other deities imagined by all the other nations of the world. Their “gods” are indeed no gods at all.

7-9: And so, all the peoples of the earth are summoned to worship and to bring an offering.

10-13: All the nations need to learn that God is king of the earth because the LORD is coming to judge the earth. This reference to a day of judgment will be fleshed out in the books of the prophets into the idea of “the Day of the LORD.”


We’ve been at it for thousands of years, but “all the nations” still do not worship the LORD. Whenever we raise a prayer for our country, we should pray also for other countries, especially those who do not acknowledge the sovereignty of God.