Today’s WORD (Text) Psalm 98
1/ O sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things. His right hand and his holy arm have gotten him victory. 2/ The Lord has made known his victory; he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations. 3/ He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God. 4/ Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises. 5/ Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody. 6/ With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord. 7/ Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who live in it. 8/ Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills sing together for joy 9/ at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.
There is no force in the earth that is more persistent than the loving power of God. Right away this assertion may sound lofty to some and detached from the realities of a precarious and dangerous world. Indeed, dangers, human evil, poverty, and natural disasters are all persistent in our world. These negative forces are strident and on display more than we can stand. Evil gets far more coverage in the news than the goodness and power of God. The psalms, perhaps more than any other literary or lyrical collections may pale in scale to modern news media, but there is no denying their certitude, confidence, and relentlessness in all generations. In every generation, we are called to sing a new song. In every era, we should marvel at God’s mighty acts, and at God’s faithfulness to the ends of the earth. Yes, the world is filled with pain and disappointments. However God is greater than these. The faithlessness of others does not diminish the faithfulness of God. Our neglect to praise God’s faithfulness may lead to an inability to pray to God with faith. Therefore, the whole earth is summoned to make a joyful noise, to break forth into joyous song and to sing praises to our God. Break forth with the instruments, whether high church or low church, expressive or staid, God is deserving of our praise. If the people remain silent with arms folded and mouths shut, then let the seas roar, the floods clap, and the hills sing. God’s righteousness is everlasting and all who sing praises will have the final say.
Name just one divine attribute or action that you will praise God for today!
Gracious God, so often we are overwhelmed and wearied by the news of disasters, death, and devastation in our world. Bad news seems to militate against testimonies of victory, goodness, and righteousness. We confess the trouble that is in our way…so much trouble, it makes us cry sometimes, and causes us to lay awake at night. Nevertheless, we praise you with a joyful noise today for you are good all the time. You are holy, righteousness, omnipotent and always faithful. We sing praises to you with thanksgiving for this new day. Great is your faithfulness! Amen.
The Passionary Intention
Today, I choose to live my life with passion. Today, I intend to follow Christ more nearly, love more dearly and incarnate God’s grace more clearly by asking myself three questions:
- Where will I follow Christ today?
- To whom shall I demonstrate Jesus’ love and justice today?
- How can I play my part in practicing the presence of Christ, right here, right now?
The Passionary Movement Word and Witness devotion is published weekdays (Monday – Friday). Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, Executive Director of American Baptist Home Mission Societies is the author of today’s devotion.