Psalm 96 was written by King David when he brought the ark into Jerusalem. The ark helped God’s people remember their past. After David was dead, Solomon built a temple which was the house of God in Jerusalem. Four hundred years later enemies destroyed the temple but after 70 years, God’s people built it again. They changed the psalm a bit from David’s original in Chronicles to the psalm as we have it today. It begins with an admonition to sing and praise the Lord.
“Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth! Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day”. Everyone is to recognize the blessings of the Lord and sing His praises everyday. This isn’t just for God’s people. God touches all people in all nations. We’re to let the entire world know that He is God. “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples”! Some of this time God’s people are even in captivity, but we’re to sing of His goodness no matter what our circumstances.
Why should we sing? “For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods”. There are several reasons given in this chapter as to why we should praise God:
- He is great
- He is to be feared
- Other gods are worthless idols
- He is Lord
- He created all things
- He is strong and beautiful
“For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary”.
The call to sing and praise God is not a mere suggestion. We’re to worship and praise the Lord, who is ruler and king over all. This psalm makes it clear that all mankind is to worship Him. All people, families, and even those who do not know Him are to sing His praise. “The Lord reigns! Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity”. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Our God reigns and is worthy of our praise. He sits on the throne and is in control of all things today, yesterday since creation, and tomorrow through eternity. “He comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness”. He will judge us all!