Sing to the Lord a new song
because he has done wonderful things!
His own strong hand and his own holy arm
have won the victory!
2 The Lord has made his salvation widely known;
he has revealed his righteousness
in the eyes of all the nations.
3 God has remembered his loyal love
and faithfulness to the house of Israel;
every corner of the earth has seen our God’s salvation.
4 Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth!
Rejoice out loud!
Sing your praises!
Before the written word, people of faith told stories and composed songs that were passed down through the generations. Each generation composed new songs to celebrate their deliverance by God’s mighty hand and to tell of God’s faithful love. The Psalms, or hymns, some with musical accompaniment, tell the story of God’s faithful covenant relationship with Israel. These hymns were an important part of communal worship and were recited as prayers by individuals during certain times of the day in the liturgical year. The Psalms are still a vital part of our worship today.
Psalm 98 is known as an ‘enthronement psalm,’ describing God’s might and righteous sovereignty over the world, bringing justice and the deliverance of Israel, and celebrating God’s faithfulness and love. This psalm invites all of creation to “shout triumphantly to the Lord,” to be happy and sing praises by giving God thanks for their salvation by composing and singing a new song to the Lord.
Every generation has its own music, our favorite “oldies” we never tire of listening to over and over again. These songs remind us of past happy or sad times in our lives. We all have our favorite hymns and praise songs that move us, but most of us resist learning new songs. We get stuck in a rut and we’re not open to new songs for praising God. This means we miss the opportunity to tell our stories about what God is doing in our lives here and now.
We can also get trapped in a space of clinging to a past that seems brighter than where we are at the moment. Life is challenging and we can find ourselves lamenting and ‘singing the blues.’ We resist the transforming work of the Spirit in our lives preferring the comfort of the familiar. While grieving is necessary and important work, our souls are renewed by the Spirit in worship and praise when we open our hearts to all that God is doing for us in this moment. God calls us to join in community to sing for joy as we and all of creation are transformed by God’s love. God’s love and faithfulness never leaves us in times of suffering and times of joy. So let’s not only sing old songs, let’s sing a new song to the Lord and be happy!
by Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
Are you still singing the same old song? What is a new song you can learn to sing to praise God for God’s love and faithfulness in your life?
Prayer: Lord, we give you all the glory, we praise your holy name, we thank you for your Spirit that transforms us each day. Lord, teach us to sing new songs of praise to you. Amen.