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Sing a New Song to the Lord!
“Sing a new song to the Lord, for he has done marvelous deeds, His right hand and holy arm have won the victory” (Psalm 98:1). This is a joyful psalm of praise. It is a celebratory prayer extolling God for Israel’s victory over outside forces. It is so joy filled that it calls on not only the Israelites, but all of nature as well, to praise and welcome God’s coming rule over all the world. For the Hebrews this had political and social elements to it. They knew themselves to be a nation, a people who alone enjoyed a covenant with the One God, Creator of all that is. As Christians, we understand this in both a larger context and a more intimate context than the Israelites could in the time of David. The psalm is a beautiful evocation of faith in the Lord who has blessed and protected the Israelites with triumph over their foes. It is a national prayer of thanksgiving. In their victory against a dangerous foe, they have recognized God’s faithfulness to them. It is full of the flush of victory saying, “All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of “our” God” (verse 3). But with the fulfillment of the “marvelous deeds” of salvation in Jesus Christ, we read and rejoice in this prayer in a way that the Israelites of David’s time, only knew as a promise. Our Christian faith experience tells us that God’s love extends to all peoples, that his salvation is not for a particular nation, or race, but for each and every human being in the world. We know that when Jesus died on the cross he did so to take on and to forgive the sins of all mankind. It is our belief that in his death…