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Bible Commentaries

Dr. Constable's Expository Notes

Psalms 98

Verses 1-3

1. God’s past revelation of His salvation 98:1-3

Psalms 98:1 anticipates a future victory for which the psalmist called on his readers to praise God. Already God had demonstrated His saving ability by redeeming Israel. All the world was familiar with what God had done for His chosen people, not only in the Exodus but throughout their history.

Verses 1-9

Psalms 98

This is another psalm that calls the earth to praise God in view of His coming reign. This psalm inspired Isaac Watts to write the hymn, "Joy to the World!" [Note: Wiersbe, The . . . Wisdom . . ., p. 268.]

"It is a close companion to Psalms 96, but is wholly given up to praise. Here there are no comparisons with the heathen, no instructions in right worship: all is joy and exhilaration." [Note: Kidner, Psalms 73-150, p. 352.]

Verses 4-8

In view of the Lord’s coming to judge the earth (Psalms 98:9), everyone and everything should praise Him enthusiastically.

Verses 4-9

2. God’s future judgment of the world 98:4-9

Verse 9

The prospect of Yahweh balancing the scales of justice is good reason for universal rejoicing. His "coming" describes a literal visit to this earth, rather than just a heavenly judgment and reign. [Note: See Allen, Rediscovering Prophecy, pp. 39-54. For a discussion of Yahweh as the Divine Warrior, see VanGemeren, pp. 630-35.]

This psalm should help God’s people view the Lord’s coming to earth to reign as a blessing, rather than something they should fear. Even though He will rule with an iron rod (Psalms 2:9), His coming will be a good thing for humankind. We who are believers should rejoice greatly as we anticipate it, and we should pray for its arrival (Matthew 6:10; Luke 11:2).

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Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 98". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/psalms-98.html. 2012.