1 Sing to the LORD, sing his praise, all you peoples;
new be your song as new honors you pay.
Sing of his majesty, praise him forever,
show his salvation from day to day.
2 Tell of his wondrous works, tell of his glory
till through the nations his name is revered.
Praise and exalt him, for he is almighty;
God over all, let the LORD be feared.
3 Vain are the idols and gods of the nations;
God made the heavens, and his glory they tell.
Splendor and majesty shine out before him;
glory and strength in his temple dwell.
4 Give unto God Most High glory and honor;
come with your offerings and humbly draw near.
Worship the LORD in all beauty and splendor;
tremble before him with godly fear.
5 Say to the nations, "The Lord reigns forever."
Earth is established as he did decree.
Righteous and just is the King of the nations,
judging the peoples with equity.
6 Let heaven and earth be glad; oceans, be joyful;
forest and field, exultation express.
For God is coming, the judge of the nations,
coming to judge in his righteousness.
The Levites were to sing Psalm 96 in the liturgy of a high festival such as the Feast of Tabernacles (Ps. 96 appears also in 1 Chron. 16:23-33). Standing among the Israelite congregation at the temple, the Levitical choir (or one of its leaders) would call all the nations to join Israel in worshiping the LORD (st. 1, 4). The psalm also calls for proclaiming the wondrous works of the LORD (st. 2), and it contrasts the glory of the God of Israel with the so-called gods of the nations (st. 3). The LORD God created heaven and earth and rules over all nations in righteousness (st. 5). In such calls and proclamations Israel began, in principle, the evangelization of the world (st. 2, 5-6). The cosmic scope of this psalm is very appropriate to the Christian task in the whole world. The versification (altered) is from the 1912 Psalter.
Bert Polman, Psalter Hymnal Handbook
We celebrate with joy that Christ has come to rescue us from sin and evil through the work of his son, Jesus Christ. Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 35 identifies the church as “the fellowship of those who confess Jesus as Lord…the bride of Christ…”
Belgic Confession, Article 21 professes how Jesus Christ is a high priest forever and provided for the cleansing of our sins; Article 10 proclaims him as the “true eternal God, the Almighty, whom we invoke, worship and serve.” Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 2 calls us to “live and die in the joy of this comfort” and “to thank God for such deliverance.”
In a world with many threats and enemies, we find hope and security in his fatherly care. Both Belgic Confession and Heidelberg Catechism put significant focus on the Providence of God and the care God provides for us. Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 9, Question and Answer 26 professes that he “will provide whatever I need for body and soul” and that we are “completely in his hand.” In Belgic Confession, Article 13 professes that he “watches over us with fatherly care.”