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Bible Commentaries

Expositor's Dictionary of Texts

Psalms 98

Verses 1-9

A New Song

Psalms 98:1

In some half-dozen of the Psalms, in Isaiah, and in the Apocalypse there is mention of a New Song, and in this weary world, where many are feeling very old, and in an age that is straining after novelty, it may be helpful to meditate awhile upon Jehovah's New Song.

I. A New Heart Sings a New Song. First, then, it may be a new song, not because the words are new, for they may be the most familiar words to us, nor because of the originality of the sentiment, but because the song wells up from a new heart, from a heart renewed by the Spirit of the Lord. Old themes, old thoughts, old facts are touched with fresh light, and brighten with unwonted lustre.

II. New Mercies Demand a New Song. But this leads us to think about another kind of occasion, for which there must be a new song. It is when there are special mercies to acknowledge, and particular and signal deliverance to celebrate. In the abounding gratitude of the moment for extraordinary favour vouchsafed the soul asks a special measure, and fits new words of rapture to new music. It is only a jaded voluptuary who could interpret in a dreary sense the text that 'there is no new thing under the sun'; there are still crises of unusual blessing providential interventions which the believing heart will thankfully recognize. Wherefore, we would ask, shall joy succeed mourning without being mentioned in a hymn to God? Shall we be relieved from sharp passages of anxiety, and not offer our Delivered supreme acknowledgment? We are poor beggars at the gate of His bounty, if when we cry for bread, and have our wants supplied, we scant our thanks to Him. We have but praise that we can offer. It is our solitary gift; shall we stint it? Nevertheless, it will be proportioned partly to the loving spirit which He has infused into us, and partly to our sense of His benefits. Therefore, when we realize cause of more than wonted gladness, we must wake within us our most fervent notes of praise.

III. We Need to be Stimulated to Praise and Thanksgiving. We have a faculty for pressing our eyes towards the gloomy portions of the picture. We are often tempted to grumble and to murmur. The many Christian privileges we enjoy are occasionally the reason why we are so speedily sensible when we miss any of them. But were our lot never so obscure and inhospitable, even in such case we were the more in fellowship with our suffering Saviour; and these light afflictions, they are precursors of abundant felicity by and by. Therefore let us cheer one another with the gladsome prospect, and be determined not to be dismal Christians. Instead of the old habitual grumble, let there be the New Song; instead of lamenting our few advantages, let us bewail our little use of those which we do possess in short, instead of thinking so much about ourselves, let us meditate on Christ. That will be a talisman of joy for us that will unlock our lips and enrapture our tongue. There is plenty of music in life for those who choose to sing; there is melody everywhere for those whose ears are attuned to it. For every saint there is a harp, and for every ransomed child of God a New Song.

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Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Psalms 98". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/edt/psalms-98.html. 1910.