Psalm 98

Dave Linde   -  

November 13, 2022

Father in heaven, we see something of your greatness, and the greatness of what you have done, in the vigorous joy of this psalm: singing, clapping the hands, bursting in jubilation. We see something of your greatness, and the greatness of what you have done, in the outright volume of this psalm: shouting and trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn. We see something of your greatness, and the greatness of what you have done, in the huge scope of this psalm: rivers, sea, earth, nations, and all inhabitants of the world. How worthy you are of jubilant and worldwide praise!

Open our eyes to see it more clearly.  Soften our hearts to feel it more deeply.  The psalm tells us that you are the God of salvation, the God of righteousness, the God of love, the God of faithfulness, the God who is King, the God who is judge, the God with a unique right hand and holy arm. You are the God who worked salvation and deliverance for ancient Israel. You are the God who has worked salvation and deliverance through Jesus Christ for all who will enter by faith. And you are the God who will one day carry out worldwide judgment, securing full and final deliverance for your people.

You are not a God who is weak and struggling. Your right hand and holy arm are strong and capable. You are not some local god, jockeying for control of the limited scope of our locale and circumstances. You are Lord of all the earth and all its peoples. You are not a God impotent in the face of evil and injustice and suffering. You will judge all people one day, and that with righteousness and equity, vindicating the faith of those who believe you and rendering to your enemies what they deserve. You will bring full, global justice, resolution, and renewal.

Teach us to enter every more fully into this psalm. Deepen the joy of our hearts, strengthen the vigor of our praise, and widen the scope of our vision of what life is all about. We praise you for the treasure that we have in you through Jesus Christ. We pray for the nations of the world who have yet to hear of Jesus, especially the peoples who live in the 10/40 window. Bring the good news to them. Raise up laborers to go to them. Advance our praying and our efforts in your mission of gospel advance to the ends of the earth so that the whole world might shout your praise.

And we remember those who are nearby, connected with our lives in a variety of ways and not yet knowing the wonder of your right hand and holy arm that have brought about salvation in Jesus Christ. Display him to them through our lives and our words.

Thinking of the nations of the world, Lord, we pray for our own nation—for our leaders, as you have taught us.  Some were newly elected this past week; some were re-elected.  We lift up to you our leaders in Washington, our leaders in St. Paul, our leaders in our local communities.  We praise you for your sovereignty over who governs the nations of the world and the affairs of our nation.  Give wisdom and guidance to our leaders.  Give help amid huge problems.  Carry out your will as King.  Refine and mature us, your church, a people of dual citizenship, so that, whatever the circumstances of our society and world, we may be a people of faith in you, a people of praise to you, a people of hope and joy who offer alternative life—eternal life—to the culture around us.

We pray because of Jesus Christ our Lord, whom you raised from the dead.  And all God’s people said, “Amen.”