Psalm 98


This psalm speaks of the mercy and salvation of the Lord, and as a result of His mercy and salvation, all people, all nature and all the nations are called upon to sing praises to Him.

It’s possible that Mary, the mother of Jesus, had this plasm in mind, as she quotes the first part of this plasm in Luke 1:46-55, in relation to the Christ.


‘A psalm.’

Although the headings aren’t inspired by God, they are important because they give us some understanding about the Psalm and they help us to see why it was written. The headings usually tell us four things.

1. Who wrote them, probably wrote them or possibly wrote them.

2. Information about the historical background to the Psalm. Why it was written.

3. They tell us of the tune the Psalm was written to.

4. How it was used.

The heading tells us this is a psalm, but we don’t know who the author is, however, Jewish tradition accredits Psalms 90-100 to Moses. Other Psalms written by Moses are also found in Exodus 15, and in Deuteronomy 32.

‘Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvellous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. The LORD has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—shout for joy before the LORD, the King. Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy; let them sing before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.’ Psalm 98:1-9

The psalmist begins by calling upon everyone to sing a new song to the Lord, Psalms 33:3 / Psalm 40:3 / Psalm 96:1 / Psalm 144:9 / Psalm 149:1 / Isaiah 42:10 / Revelation 5:9 / Revelation 14:3.

A new song usually signifies a renewal of commitment to the Lord, a new start in recognition of the marvellous things He had done, Psalm 77:14 / Psalm 86:10.

His right hand and His holy arm signify God’s strength and power, His power is demonstrated through His mercy and deliverance of His people, Isaiah 52:10 / Isaiah 59:16 / Isaiah 63:5. His salvation is known and Hi revealed His righteousness to the nations, Isaiah 52:10.

God remembered His love and faithfulness to Israel, Luke 1:54-55 / Luke 1:72. Love and faithfulness speak of the establishment of His just order on earth, Isaiah 46:13 / Isaiah 51:5-6 / Isaiah 51:8.

God didn’t deliver Israel for Israel’s sake alone, He delivered them as a witness to other nations that He was working through Israel. As a result, all the nations have seen the salvation God brought His people, Genesis 12:3.

The psalmist encourages all the earth to shout for joy to the Lord, Zechariah 9:9, because of all the marvellous thing He has done. Because of what God has done, He should be praised, in every way He should be praised for His work among His people and the world, 2 Chronicles 29:25-30 / Ezra 3:10-13.

The earth is to ‘burst into jubilant song with music,’ Isaiah 52:9, this is clearly a song of joyful praise. They are to use the harp, 1 Samuel 10:5 / 1 Chronicles 16:5 / 2 Chronicles 5:12-13, trumpets, Numbers 10:2 / Numbers 10:8-10 / Numbers 31:6, and lamb’s horns, Leviticus 25:9ff / 1 Kings 1:39 / Exodus 19:16 / Exodus 19:19 / Exodus 20:18 / Leviticus 25:9 / Joshua 6:4-6 / Joshua 6:8-9 / Joshua 6:13 / Joshua 6:16 / Joshua 6:20 / 1 Chronicles 15:28 / 2 Chronicles 15:14 / Hosea 5:8, in their praise before the Lord, the King.

Also notice the seas, and everything which lives within them, the world and everything which lives within it, should also praise God. The rivers were to clap their hands and the mountains were to sing together with them, Isaiah 55:12. These are all obviously metaphors which speak of the entire creation coming together to offer praise to God.

The reason for all the praise is because God comes to judge the earth, which will give the earth some relief from man’s sin, Romans 8:19-22. He isn’t just praised because of all the marvellous things He has done but also because of what He is about to do.

He will judge the world in righteousness, that is, He will judge justly and right, He will also the peoples with equity, that is, without respect of persons, 1 Peter 1:17.

Because God judges, the righteous will get some rest from the wicked who opposed them, those who we’re denied justice, and they can rejoice because they stand within the grace of God.


The psalmist beautifully and poetically portrays all of God’s creation coming together to praise Him, Psalm 14:7-13. Although the seas, the rivers, mountains and trees are all used as metaphors, they certainly take our imaginations to a wonderful place where everyone and everything just simply comes together to praise God for what He has done and what He will do.

These metaphors remind me of that great hymn, ‘Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah’, written by William J. Kirkpatrick. Apparently, this hymn was inspired by Psalm 148:1-14, and as we read the words to his hymn, we can see why it has become a very popular hymn within many congregations.

Hallelujah, praise Jehovah,
From the heavens praise His name;
Praise Jehovah in the highest,
All His angels praise proclaim.
All His hosts together praise Him,
Sun, and moon, and stars on high;
Praise Him, O ye heav’n of heavens,
And ye floods above the sky.

Let them praises give Jehovah,
They were made at His command,
Them forever He established;
His decree shall ever stand.
From the earth, oh, praise Jehovah,
All ye floods, ye dragons all;
Fire, and hail, and snow, and vapours,
Stormy winds that hear His call.

All ye fruitful trees and cedars,
All ye hills and mountains high,
Creeping things, and beasts, and cattle,
Birds that in the heavens fly.
Kings of earth, and all ye people,
Princes great, earth’s judges all,
Praise His name, young men and maidens,
Aged men and children small.

Go To Psalm 99


"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness."

2 Timothy 3:16