A Psalm for the New Year
Sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him. Psalm 98:1 NIV
The psalmist called for a new song to celebrate God's salvation of His people. God had done a wonderful work on their behalf by victoriously delivering them. His fresh blessings deserved a fresh expression of their praise.
Through His incomparable power, God gained the victory for His people and saved them. God's right hand and His arm are both symbols of His mighty power. If the occasion for this psalm was the people's return from Babylonian captivity, holy, would speak of God's righteousness in fulfilling His promise to deliver His people after seventy years (Je.25:9-12:29:10).
God's deliverance of His people was a compelling witness to unbelievers of His salvation and righteousness. The Gentile nations observed God's righteousness in that He did not overlook His people's disobedience. But they also saw His salvation in that He came to their aid and rescued them from their oppressors.
The psalmist called for fresh praise to the Lord because of His mercy and truth. Mercy (hesed) is God's unfailing, covenant love. Truth (emunah) is His faithfulness. The Lord had remembered His covenant promises to Israel and graciously delivered the people from captivity, proving that He will love and be faithful to His people. As a result, His salvation was witnessed to the ends of the earth- all throughout the world.
Happy New Year! May you go into it singing of God's salvation!