Shout for Joy
The two sections of Psalm 95 are quite distinct in tone. The first is a beautiful hymn of praise (1-7a) and the second a prophetic warning (7b-11). Some have suggested that what we have is two psalms that have somehow been joined. The greatness of God calls for worship that issues in obedience and the displeasure of God points ahead to a life of continuing exile – “They shall never enter the land where I give rest.”
Come let’s sing for joy to the Lord
Shout! For to God we belong;
Gather before him with thanksgiving and praise
Extol him with music and song.
Yahweh reigns as King over all
No other god is greater;
Heavens and earth belong to him
For he is their Creator.
Let us bow down and worship him
Kneel before our Master;
For he is our God, we’re under his care
Protected from any disaster.
“Do not harden your hearts like those before you
Who refused to walk in my way;
For forty years I was angry with them
Their hearts had gone astray.”
“In anger I declared this oath
To those of fickle heart;
I have no place of rest for you
No blessing to impart.”
Psalm 96 calls upon all nations of the earth to come and worship Yahweh. His mighty deeds have brought salvation and people everywhere are to worship him in the splendor of his righteousness. He rules the world with equity bringing joy to all. The psalm speaks of eschatological rule as well as his current reign over his people.
Sing a new song to the Lord, O earth
Praise his holy name;
Proclaim to all the good news that he saves
His deeds have brought him fame.
Great is the Lord and worthy of praise
Other gods are unreal;
Splendor and majesty surround his throne
Before him all others kneel.
Give praise to the Lord all you nations on earth
Bring offerings to sacrifice;
Worship the Lord in holy attire
His presence, paradise.
Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be glad
May the nations sing for joy;
Let creation rejoice when God comes to rule
With freedom for all to enjoy
Robert H Mounce