Today’s reading, Psalms 98 – 100, comprise three praise psalms, calls to exalt and worship God. These psalms often follow a pattern, alternating the call to praise with reasons for doing so. We saw that in Psalm 95.
I wonder, did you notice the universality of these hymns? John Goldingay, a professor of Old Testament writes: “The God of Israel is the God of the world; the God of the world is the God of Israel. On the one hand, God is not merely the God of Israel. Never has been, and never will be. While God has been irrevocably committed to Israel and to the Jewish people from the beginning of Israel’s story, and they gain immeasurably from that, blessing Israel is not the extent of God’s purpose. God’s blessings of Israel has implications for the world.”
Israel often forgot that.
We do too.
We often come to the Bible almost oblivious to God’s dealings with Israel, as if to say that all He did in the Old Testament is irrelevant. As Goldingay goes on to remark: “God’s relationship with Israel remains the model for God’s relationship with the Church.”
We also forget that while God’s blessings are only for His people, He wants all people to be His people. Making that happen is the work of the people of God. The Psalms are often a call to evangelism, a reminder to us that our task is to call all the earth to “sing to the Lord.”