Psalm 96 - Declare his glory

1) O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.
2) Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
3) Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples.
4) For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be revered above all gods.
5) For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
6) Honor and majesty are before him;
strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

7) Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
8) Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering, and come into his courts.
9) Worship the Lord in holy splendor;
tremble before him, all the earth.

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.”
11) Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
12) let the field exult, and everything in it.
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
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.
Psalm 96 (NRSV)
Christmas Day (see also A new song)
9th Sunday after Epiphany, Year C, verses 1-9
4th Sunday in Advent, Year C, verses 1-7
Proper 4, Sunday between May 29 and June 4, Year C, Psalm 96 or verses 1-9
Proper 24, Sunday between October 16 and October 22, Year C, verses 1-9, (10-13)

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name - Give God credit for being God. Declare God's glory and strength. "Say among the nations, 'The Lord is king!'"

The kings of the Ancient Near East were in some ways comparative models for conceptualizing the God of Israel. You want a strong, majestic, victorious God, in much the same way you want that for the leader of your nation or people. You want a God (and a king) that other powers will fear, and this not try to mess with that God's (or king's) people.

So it is natural to trumpet your lord's (and your Lord's) power, his might and expansive reach. The coin pictured here, more than 2300 years old, pictures the God of Israel in a flying chariot - his rule is not limited to the earth, but covers the heavens. Everything about this Lord is the best. Revered above all, praised above all, ruling over all. Bring your best offerings, and come into the Lord's Temple - which is splendor beyond mortal capacity. "Strength and beauty are in his sanctuary."

This Lord's reign cannot be toppled. The world rejoices!

And justly so. Power always impresses. But this Lord judges the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity and truth. That is a rare thing indeed, and glorious! Ascribe this to the Lord. Hallelujah!

Credits:
Quarter Shekel, struck before 333 BCE. YHWH as ‘Yahu’ in a winged throne chariot, holding a bird. Coin from Gaza.

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