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Psalm 98:7-9 & meaning...


will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.

Psalm 98:7-9


Psalm 98 [5.] Sing praises to Yahweh with the harp,

   with the harp and the voice of melody.

With trumpets and sound of the ram’s horn,

   make a joyful noise before the King, Yahweh.

Let the sea roar with its fullness;

   the world, and those who dwell therein.

Let the rivers clap their hands.

   Let the mountains sing for joy together.

Let them sing before Yahweh,

   for he comes to judge the earth.

He will judge the world with righteousness,

   and the peoples with equity.


Psalm 98 is a psalm of praise, part of a group of psalms (Psalms 93-100) that celebrate God’s kingship and His righteous reign over all the earth. This particular psalm invites not only Israel but the whole world and even nature itself to join in jubilant worship of Yahweh. The focus is on God's salvation, His marvelous deeds, and His coming judgment.

  • The Call for Creation to Rejoice:

The Sea and Its Fullness: “Let the sea roar with its fullness; the world, and those who dwell therein.”

Inclusivity of Praise: The imagery here encompasses the vastness of the sea and everything in it. It’s a call for the entirety of creation, including all living beings, to acknowledge and praise God. The roaring of the sea signifies a powerful and all-encompassing worship.

Creation's Response: The sea’s roar represents nature’s instinctive response to the Creator’s majesty. This call to praise reminds us that all of creation is inherently designed to reflect God’s glory.

The Rivers and the Mountains: “Let the rivers clap their hands. Let the mountains sing for joy together.”

Personification of Nature: The psalmist personifies rivers and mountains, attributing to them human actions of clapping and singing. This poetic device highlights the universal and communal aspect of worship. Even the inanimate parts of creation join in the celebration.

Unity in Worship: The imagery of rivers clapping and mountains singing together underscores a unified, harmonious response to God. It’s a vision of all elements of the natural world participating in a symphony of praise.

  • The Reason for Rejoicing:

Yahweh's Coming Judgment: “Let them sing before Yahweh, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.”

Anticipation of Judgment: The rejoicing is in anticipation of Yahweh’s coming to judge the earth. Unlike human judges, whose judgments can be flawed and biased, Yahweh’s judgment is perfect and just.

Righteous Judgment: God’s judgment is characterized by righteousness. This means it is fair, just, and morally right. The world can rejoice because God’s judgments will set everything right.

Equity for All Peoples: The term “equity” implies fairness and impartiality. God’s judgment will be equitable, considering all peoples without favoritism or prejudice. This is a cause for celebration because it assures us of ultimate justice and fairness.

Theological Implications:

God's Sovereignty: These verses affirm God’s sovereignty over all creation. The natural world’s response to God’s coming underscores His authority and power. It reminds us that all creation is under His rule and that He is the ultimate judge.

Hope and Assurance: The promise of righteous judgment brings hope and assurance to believers. In a world where injustice often prevails, the certainty that God will judge with righteousness and equity provides comfort and encouragement. It assures us that wrongs will be righted and that God’s justice will prevail.

Universal Worship: The call for all creation to worship highlights the universal scope of God’s reign. It’s a reminder that worship of God transcends human boundaries and includes all elements of the created order. This universal worship underscores the inclusivity of God’s kingdom and the comprehensive nature of His salvation.

Practical Applications:

Participating in Creation's Praise: As part of God’s creation, we are invited to join the universal chorus of praise. This can be expressed through worship, gratitude, and stewardship of the environment. Recognizing our role in creation’s praise encourages us to live in harmony with nature and to appreciate the beauty and majesty of God’s works.

Living with Hope: Knowing that God will judge the world with righteousness and equity allows us to live with hope and confidence. This hope empowers us to face life’s challenges, trusting that God’s justice will ultimately prevail. It also motivates us to act justly and righteously in our own lives, reflecting God’s character in our actions.

Promoting Justice and Equity: As believers, we are called to mirror God’s justice and equity in our interactions with others. This means advocating for fairness, standing against injustice, and treating all people with respect and dignity. By doing so, we participate in God’s righteous judgment and help to bring His kingdom values into our world.


Isaiah 55:12: “For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace. The mountains and the hills will break out before you into singing, and all the trees of the fields will clap their hands.” This verse echoes the themes of nature rejoicing and participating in the celebration of God’s goodness.

Romans 8:19-21: “For the creation waits with eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of decay into the glorious freedom of the children of God.” This passage speaks to the future redemption of creation, resonating with the hope of God's righteous judgment.

Revelation 19:1-2: “After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, ‘Hallelujah! Salvation, power, and glory belong to our God, for his judgments are true and righteous.’” This verse reflects the heavenly praise for God’s righteous judgments, paralleling the celebration depicted in Psalm 98.

Conclusion: Psalm 98:7-9 is a powerful and poetic call for all of creation to rejoice in anticipation of God's righteous judgment. These verses remind us of God’s sovereignty, the hope and assurance of His just rule, and the universal scope of His kingdom. As we join in this celebration, we are encouraged to live with hope, act justly, and participate in the universal praise of our Creator. This passage calls us to recognize the beauty and majesty of God's works and to respond with worship and gratitude, confident in the ultimate triumph of His righteous and equitable judgment.

eternity - faithful - realm
PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible


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