Praise Habit: Psalm 96

O 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.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvellous works among all the peoples.
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be revered above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
Honour and majesty are before him;
strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering, and come into his courts.
Worship the Lord in holy splendour;
tremble before him, all the earth.


Say among the nations, ‘The Lord is king!
The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved.
He will judge the peoples with equity.’
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
   let the field exult, and everything in it.
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
   before the Lord; for he is coming,
for he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with his truth.

Psalm 96 (NRSV)

Father, if what You do doesn’t cause me to sing, proclaim, and hope, then I have missed seeing You in truth. You do things that are rightly called marvelous. This should bring songs from my heart – new songs and new words that tell of Your eternal glory.

You glory should stir this heart to tell everyone of who You are, that You are King, and that You will judge the earth rightly. All of creation speaks this truth in it’s very existence, by simply being what it is created to be. I should join in this proclamation.

The fact that you are coming should give me hope that springs up eternally. You are coming to converge and finish Your marvelous works by judging in righetousness and setting all creation into your truth.

Rightly, the psalmist calls us all to ascribe the glory due Your name. “Ascribe” carries the idea of recording and rehearsing this glory in well crafted words, songs, and prayers. And it is right that we should share these new songs, prayers, and words with the rest of humanity as we all ascribe greatness, strength, glory, and honor to Yahweh in holy splendor.

Help me see you in truth, and let every revelation and vision of you and your marvelous deeds stir this heart to remember hope, to tell of your salvation, and to sing a new song to my God and King.

  • SaraBeth

    When I consider this Psalm, it helps me to think of J.R. Tolkien's fantastic worlds. In the natural world, I find it difficult to imagine heavens that are glad or waves that roar in adoration of their King. But in the world beyond our logical limitations, is it not possible that YHWH's splendor causes even creation to be caught up in ecstasy? If we truly understood the glory of G-d, would it far fetched to hear the praises of the trees? Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not going all animistic on you, but in some sense creation becomes a symphony heralding the coming of our Lord. Beautiful!

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