Psalms, Book 4, Psalms 95-100

Psalm 95‑100  •  7 min. read  •  grade level: 5
These six Psalms may be viewed as completing the group which began with 93; yet of themselves they make an evident and well-ordered progress. The first of the six (95) summons the people of God, in the Spirit of prophecy which animated the godly, to rejoice in Jehovah no longer to be hidden but revealed in Christ Who brings in salvation, glory, and rest; but no blessing is without hearing His voice. In the second the summons goes forth beyond Israel to the nations and peoples; as the third is the new song that is sought. The fourth demands a new song of Israel; and the fifth is the answer. This is completed by Psalm 100, which expresses Israel in the joy of grace, while owning their own portion, inviting all the earth to shout aloud to Jehovah, and with enlarged hearts welcoming into His grates with thanksgiving those whose approach they used jealously to fend off.
Psalm 95
“Come, let us sing aloud to Jehovah, let us shout for joy to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his face with praise, let us shout aloud to him with psalms. For Jehovah [is] a great God (El), and a great King above all gods. In his hand [are] the deep places of the earth, and the strength of mountains [is] his; whose [is] the sea, and he made it; and his hands formed the dry [land]. Come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before Jehovah our Maker; for he [is] our God and we people of his pasture and sheep of his hand. To-day if ye hear his voice, harden not your heart like Meribah, like the day of Massah, in the wilderness; when your fathers tempted me, proved me,—also saw my work. Forty years long was I disgusted with the generation and said, A people erring in heart [are] they, and they have not known my ways, so that I swore in mine anger that they shall not come into my rest” (vers. 1-11).
It will be noticed how Jehovah is worshipped as the Creator but the God of Israel; then a warning is given from the unbelief of their fathers in the wilderness. Their failure from of old will not debar them from His rest to-morrow, only unbelief to-day.
Psalm 96
“Sing ye to Jehovah a new song, sing to Jehovah, all the earth. Sing to Jehovah, bless his name, proclaim his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the Gentiles, his wonders among all the peoples. For great [is] Jehovah and exceedingly to be praised, to be feared he above all gods. For all the gods of the Gentiles [are] idols (nothing), but Jehovah made the heavens. Honor and majesty [are] before him; strength and beauty in his sanctuary. Give to Jehovah, ye families of the peoples, give to Jehovah glory and strength; give to Jehovah the glory of his name, bring an offering and come to his courts. Bow down to Jehovah in the majesty of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. Say among the Gentiles, Jehovah reigneth! Yea, the world is established, it shall not be moved; he will judge the peoples in equity. Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be glad; let the sea roar and its fullness; let the field exult and all that [is] in it. Then shall all the trees of the forest shout for joy before Jehovah, for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth; he will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his truth” (vers. 1-13).
It is “ye” here to the nations, not “us” as in the preceding psalms. Yet Jehovah holds to His ordered place on earth, and the people are invited to the courts of His sanctuary, then indeed a house of prayer for all the peoples.
Psalm 97
“Jehovah reigneth; let the earth rejoice, let the many islands be glad. Cloud and darkness [are] around him, righteousness and judgment the foundation of his throne. A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his foes round about. His lightnings lightened the world; the earth saw and trembled. Mountains melted like wax before Jehovah, before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory. Ashamed be all that serve graven images and boast themselves of idols! Worship him, all ye gods (angels, as in Ps. 8)! Zion heard and rejoiced, and Judah's daughters were glad, because of thy judgments, O Jehovah. For thou, Jehovah, [art] Most High above all the earth, thou art exceedingly exalted above all gods. Lovers of Jehovah, hate evil! He keepeth the souls of his saints (pious ones), from the hand of the wicked ones he delivereth them. Light [is] sown for the righteous one, and gladness for upright in heart. Be glad in Jehovah, ye righteous, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness (vers. 1-12).”
Such is the song in reply. It is the earth rejoicing through the execution of divine judgments because Jehovah reigns in that day. And Zion rejoices on hearing, and Judah's daughters; a blessed trait in it, for naturally how different had all been! So the heavens here declare Jehovah's righteousness; the earth certainly was far from it, though we, Christians, know it still more gloriously in Him Who is on the Father's throne.
Psalm 98
“Sing ye to Jehovah a new song, for he hath done wonders; his right hand hath wrought salvation for him, and the arm of his holiness. Jehovah hath made known his salvation; in the eyes of the Gentiles he openly showed his righteousness. He remembered his mercy and his faithfulness to the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Shout to Jehovah, all the earth; break forth and sing for joy, and sing psalms. Sing psalms to Jehovah with a harp, with harp and voice of psalm; with trumpets and sound of cornet shout before the King Jehovah. Let the sea roar and its fullness, the world and those dwelling in it; let floods clap hand, let mountains sing for joy together before Jehovah, for he cometh to judge the earth; he will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in equity” (vers. 1-9).
This is the call on Israel for a new song, though all the earth is to shout to Jehovah thereon, as Zion was glad when all the peoples saw His glory to the shame of idolatry. Here the sea too, the world, the rivers, and the hills all rejoice at His coming to judge the earth, Who is Jehovah the King.
Psalm 99
“Jehovah reigneth; let the peoples tremble. He sitteth [above] the cherubim; let the earth be moved. Jehovah [is] great in Zion and he [is] exalted above all the peoples. They shall praise thy great and terrible name; holy [is] he! and the king's strength loveth judgment. Thou hast established equity; thou hast wrought judgment and righteousness in Jacob. Exalt Jehovah our God and worship at his footstool: holy [is] he! Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among those calling on his name, they called unto Jehovah, and he answered them. In a pillar of cloud he spoke unto them; they kept his testimonies, and the statute he gave them. Jehovah, our God, thou answeredst them; a forgiving God (El) wast thou to them and taking vengeance on their doings. Exalt Jehovah our God, and worship at the mountain of his holiness; for holy [is] Jehovah our God” (vers. 1-9).
This is Israel's song in answer. Jehovah is great in Zion, and executes judgment and righteousness in Jacob. He sits between the cherubim. All the peoples therefore are to praise His name. As in the early days of the people, so yet more at the end of the age will He answer those that call on Him, while punishing their doings; not then one or two here and there, but “so all Israel shall be saved.” “Thy people also shall be all righteous” in that day. Jehovah's hand is not shortened that it cannot save, neither His ear heavy that it cannot hear.
Psalm 100
“A psalm of thanksgiving. Shout to Jehovah, all the earth. Serve Jehovah with joy, come before him with singing. Know that Jehovah he [is] God; he made us, and not we, his people and sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise; give thanks to him, bless his name. For Jehovah [is] good; forever [is] his mercy, and his faithfulness from generation to generation” (vers. 1-5).
Here Israel calls to universal thanksgiving; no churlishness to the Gentile more. Jehovah's mercy enjoyed makes His people bountiful.