Monday, August 29, 2016

Thanking God Now, But Looking Forward to Something Better

Psalm 98:1-9

A Psalm.

 “O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.” (Psalm 98:1)

If we will take the time, every day we will see new things God has done on our behalf.  It is not clear who wrote this psalm, but time after time, God delivered Israel in amazing and unexpected ways, miraculously giving them the victory.     

“The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly showed in the sight of the heathen.  He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.” (Psalm 98:2-3)

Even Israel’s worst enemies were aware of God’s working in delivering them.  It was obvious that Israel could not have won without God’s help.  God had never forgotten his promises, and had repeatedly stopped attempts at genocide.  The entire world knew of the times he had delivered them and his promises to them. 
“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Ps 98:5 Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm.  With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King.” (Psalm 98:4-6)

Once again the Psalmist reminds us to express our appreciation for what God has done for us musically.  Music affects our emotions more deeply than most forms of expression.    Used properly, singing the songs ourselves about things he has fond for us will make us more appreciative, bringing our emotions into line with the Spirit’s leadership.  Ephesians 5:19-21 instructs, “…but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”  By singing to God, and thanking him for what he has done, we focus our emotions on God, rather than our feelings, allowing the Holy Spirit to have control, making us thankful and reducing our pride.    

“Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.  Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together Before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.” (Psalm 98:7-9)

Today many people are worried about Global warming, hoping to prevent it by reducing the emissions of so called greenhouse gases.   It will not work because they have not properly diagnosed the problem.  All of creation is suffering as a result of man’s sin, as Romans 8:18-22 tells us.  “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.  For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” 

The world’s suffering will only end when God sets up his kingdom on earth and the power of evil has been destroyed.  No amount of legislation will eliminate the problems.    When Christ comes to rule the earth everything , even including the inanimate objects will rejoice.  

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