96:1 O sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.
96:2 Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.
96:3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples.
96:4 For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be revered above all gods.
96:5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the LORD made the heavens.
96:6 Honor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
96:7 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
96:8 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts.
96:9 Worship the LORD in holy splendor; tremble before him, all the earth.
96:10 Say among the nations, “The LORD is king! The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved. He will judge the peoples with equity.”
96:11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
96:12 let the field exult, and everything in it. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
96:13 before the LORD; for he is coming, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with his truth.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the LORD made the heavens.
The interesting thing about the Israelites is not just that they were the first monotheists but also that they were among the first people groups to speak out about how silly it was to worship man-made idols. Today we would think it’s completely absurd but in ancient times it was just the way of life. They had idols for harvest gods, for fertility gods, for rain gods, for military gods, and the list goes on.
But why did Israel worship so strangely? They did so because they had real encounters with the living God. It only takes one encounter for most people to know the true God. The Israelites had many signs, wonders, and miracles, done in their towns and villages by YHWH. The knew from experience who God was. It was not a guess. God showed so powerful and majestically that anyone who witnessed would know it’s form the Lord.
Even enemies of Israel took note of the God that they worshiped and His power and might. When Balaam was hired by Balak to curse Israel in the desert he correctly recognized the God that set the path before them and ended up blessing them instead.
God is not a man, so he does not lie.
He is not human, so he does not change his mind.
Has he ever spoken and failed to act?
Has he ever promised and not carried it through?
20 Listen, I received a command to bless;
God has blessed, and I cannot reverse it!
21 No misfortune is in his plan for Jacob;
no trouble is in store for Israel.
For the Lord their God is with them;
he has been proclaimed their king.
[Featured image from Biblescreen.com]