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Psalm 98

Sunday, 08 October 2023

Oh sing unto Jehovah a new song; For he hath done marvellous things: His right hand, and his holy arm, hath wrought salvation for him. -Psalm 98:1 [ASV]

Psalm 98 is a victory song. It was probably written when the Babylonian exiles returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. This could be the joyous celebration we read about in Ezra 3:10 &11 when the foundation of the temple was laid and the people rejoiced with a great shout.

The Psalm also looks forward to the final victory of Israel that will be wrought by the very hands of God—a time when all the prophecies concerning the restoration of Israel will be fulfilled. It calls on all mankind and all nature to welcome God’s rule over all the earth when that final victory has been won. It calls for a joyful and exuberant praise and worship celebrating the victory of a great king who will come to rule with righteousness and justice.

A greater victory

Despite the obvious connection of this Psalm to the nation of Israel, we, as believers in Christ, are instantly drawn to the striking parallel to the victory of our Lord Jesus on the cross of Calvary.

Firstly, Jesus is the word by whom all things were made. It is said in Colossians 1:16-17 “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.”

Secondly, Jesus is the one who has wrought our salvation/victory by his own arm. He became the perfect and complete sacrifice!

The word wrought means “made or fashioned in the specified way”. When the lamp stand in the temple was being made, they hammered gold to make it in the way specified by God. The process of hammering and fashioning the metal is referred to as being wrought by the goldsmith or ironsmith.

Our Salvation from eternal damnation and separation from God was wrought by Jesus through his life, his death and his resurrection. It was a painful process that Jesus personally went through that brought forth a glorious and eternal victory for all who will receive it.

Moreover, the sacrifice had to be in the prescribed pattern, as prescribed in the Law of Moses. The sacrificial animal would be a one year old male, and it should be spotless, without blemish, sacrificed on a specific day and at specific time.

Jesus, the perfect and righteous one, is the only person who could take the place of us sinners. His trial at the hands of the high preist, the time of his crucifiction, and all other circumstances met the Levitical requirements as specified by God.

Jesus is the Victor. He is the one who has set us free from the shame of sin and everlasting condemnation. He is also the King who will, one day, return to rule the world in righteousness.

This, our God, who reigns supreme, is mindful of us individually, and cares for us deeply. His death and his resurrection has purchased our salvation. No further sacrifice is required. This is a done deal! Is this not a reason for us to greatly rejoice?

Prayer: O Lord, our God, as we gather to worship you today, help us to lift our voices up in unison with all created things on earth and in the heavens, to glorify and honour your holy name for you alone are worthy of it all. You have wrought our salvation and you have blessed our days for evermore. We rejoice and give you thanks.



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