Psalm 96

By Not Known

It was during the service at one of our local churches.  The rendering by the choir of Psalm 96 was perfect.  Well almost.  Technically the piece was perfect, but then what had happened to the exuberance that characterizes the psalm?  There was not even a hint of a smile on any of the faces of the choristers when they sang this psalm.  Yet this is a psalm of exultation – a song of joy!

 As we ponder over the psalm, we realize that it begins with a call for God’s people to tell everyone else about Him (vv1-3), followed by an affirmation of God who is splendid, majestic, strong and glorious, whose greatness is over all the other gods (vv4-6).  Then, another call to the families of nations to proclaim the glory and power of Him who is also splendid and holy (vv7-10) and finally, a call to all of nature and everything on earth and in the skies, and a reminder of His coming as Judge to rule in righteousness and truth (vv10-13).  In short, it is a call to worship and as the God we worship is so great, shouldn’t we proclaim with our all as we meditate on this psalm?

 A version of this psalm was sung by King David when he brought the ark of the covenant into Jerusalem (1 Chron 16:23-33).  It was then when his wife, Michal the daughter of King Saul, saw David leaping and dancing at the head of the procession before God with all his might.  She was appalled at his apparent lack of dignity and decorum when he appeared half-naked, wearing only a linen ephod.  She then despised him in her heart (1 Chron 15:20 cf. 2 Sam 6:16, 20-22).  Without going into details, the conclusion we get here is that Michal’s response towards David was displeasing to God   (2 Sam 6:23).

 So let us not worry about how others may worship God.  For us, as we worship God this morning/evening, let us enter into the spirit of this psalm as we gather together in His Name.  Let us tell everyone else about Him.  Let us affirm God’s splendour, majesty, strength and glory as we proclaim His greatness over all.  Let us call to the nations around us as we give God the glory and exalt His power and holiness.  Let us put our hope in Him as we remind ourselves of His righteousness and truth.  In short, let us worship Him. 

 “I tell you, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” (Lk 19:40)