“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings if good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” Isaiah 52:7.
“Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! For He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.” Psalm 98:1.
Unlike Psalm 97, which is a continuum of Psalm 96, Psalm 98 is a new song, as it says in the first verse “Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!” So Psalm 98 is a bit different, but is of the same theme carried throughout these three psalms; the return of Christ and His millennial reign.
Some expositors see verse 1 as the fulfillment of the Lord’s victory on the cross, and I believe this should never leave our sight because Jesus is portrayed as the arm of God in the Messianic prophecies in Isaiah 52 and 53.
“Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” Isaiah 53:1.
As you read on to the end of Isaiah 53 it becomes obvious that this is a description of Jesus’ first advent and of His death on the cross. The arm of the Lord is Christ, God the Son, the visible power and physical manifestation of the invisible, eternal God who will send the Lord Jesus for us in His own time.
“…keep this commandment [fight the good fight of faith, vs. 12] without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, which He [God the Father] will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.” 1 Timothy 6:14b-16.
While it is imperative that we remember the Lord Jesus in this manner, it is also true that the new song of Psalm 98 is “Our God reigns! Our God reigns because this psalm concerns the millennium.
The horrors of the tribulation are over, the death, the rot and the stink of the battle of Armageddon have dissipated, and the separations of the sheep from the goats wherein the goats have been removed to hell and the sheep have entered the Kingdom of God is complete.
“His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.” verse 1b. The power of the right hand of God the Son combined with the righteous wrath of a holy God have gained the victory and completely destroyed the power of evil. The Devil and his fallen angel army are imprisoned for a thousand years. Finally there is true peace on earth.
“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.” Revelation 20:1-3.
“The Lord has made known His salvation; His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations.” Psalm 98:2.
This could certainly be said of the gospel of Jesus Christ which was preached throughout the whole earth in the apostle’s time.
“…the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.” Colossians 1:23b.
However, this is a reference to Christ’s glorious appearing when He comes to put down all rebellion of mankind and establish His kingdom of righteousness.
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Matthew 24:29-30.
Can you see how Jesus’ appearing on the clouds of heaven before all mankind would reveal His salvation. This is not just His salvation as the Christ who was crucified to put away sin, His glorious appearing would vindicate all who preached Christ and Him crucified. There is another salvation too, saving alive all of those who have trusted Him and been faithful throughout the tribulation period.
“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved [remain alive]; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” Matthew 24:21-22.
“…His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations.” verse 2b. Not only has the Lord’s salvation been made known, His righteousness has been displayed before all of the nations.
“…knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’” 2 Peter 3:3-4.
Every mouth will be shut, unfortunately even those of some Christians who despaired of His return.
“He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.” Psalm 98:3.
Before we go into the above verse it would help to give a little background on God’s relationship with Israel, which by the way He has called His wife. I am sorry if this is a little sketchy but there is a lot more than could be done justice here.
Ryrie in his study Bible calls the book of Deuteronomy a constitution for the theocracy of Israel. I cannot think of a better title for it. My personal opinion is that if every Israelite had diligently studied the book of Psalms and Deuteronomy they would never have fallen into idolatry, and such grievous error as the likes of the Pharisees did.
The following passages are long so I will only copy portions of them. I encourage you to read the whole chapters, they are truly eye opening, and I might add, on the front page of your newspapers today. You will also notice that America is suffering the same fate as Israel. God’s principles do not change.
“Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God: Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country. Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.” Deuteronomy 28:1-4.
The above blessings go on for another ten verses. Now here is the other side of the coin.
“But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statues which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country. Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Cursed shall be the fruit of your body and produce of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.” Deuteronomy 28:15-18.
These curses and the elaboration of the same go on for another fifty verses! Yet Israel not only deserted the Lord, they murdered His Son when He came to them offering blessing and salvation. So where is Israel today?
“Then the Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods, which neither you nor your fathers have known – wood and stone. And among those nations you shall find no rest, nor shall the sole of your foot have a resting place; but there the Lord will give you a trembling heart, failing eyes, and anguish of soul. Your life shall hang in doubt before you; you shall fear day and night, and have no assurance of life. In the morning you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were evening!’ And at evening you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were morning!’ because of the fear which terrifies your heart, and because of the sight which your eyes see. And the Lord will take you back to Egypt in ships, by the way of which I said to you, ‘You shall never see it again.’ And there you shall be offered for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.” Deuteronomy 28:64-68.
One may look at this and say, “Slaves, we will never become slaves in America!” Did you know that sex trafficking, sex slaves gained by kidnapping and trickery; is the second highest crime in America right now?
Yet our government is more concerned with keeping abortion legal, flooding the country with illegal aliens, and squandering money on government programs that accomplish nothing.
In short, government is more intent on creating more victims in this country than they are in rescuing the ones that are crying out for help. America is having many of the same problems that Israel encountered when they deserted God, and it will continue unless we turn back to Him. We need to stop serving Satan.
But what is happening with the Israel of Deuteronomy 28:64-68 above? Many Jews have returned to the land of Israel, which was prophesied over two thousand years ago, and while some of the prophecies given in the above passages have occurred, it is not over yet.
In fact, the worst is yet to come according to Scripture. Anti-Semitism is already on the rise. People through the centuries have always hated the Jews because they are incited to do so by Satan and his fallen angels. Sometimes it is due to their own machinations and stupidity, and that is what Jew haters like to point to, but sinful Jews and sinful Gentiles have always existed, and history will show that Gentiles (the rest of the world) have done far more vicious and sadistic things than Jewish history.
I included these last couple of sentences because there is always someone who says, “But, but, but, the Jews!” No, the majority of hatred for the Jews is demonic and the world is falling into step.
Time is short my friends and the seven years of tribulation will soon be upon the world. According to Scripture, the first three and a half years will be what could be called a truce between the world and Israel. So in all likelihood as long as Jews stay within their pitifully small strip of land they will be safe – but there will be no peace for anyone anywhere on earth, remember that.
The second half of the tribulation, 3 ½ years, however is another story, the truce will be broken and the entire world will be out to annihilate Israel. It is this horrific period which God calls the time of Jacobs’s trouble, and the time which leads up to the battle of Armageddon in Israel. It is at the end of these three and a half years that Jesus will return to conquer and reign over the entire earth.
It is this that begins a millennium of peace and brings us back to Psalm 98:3a, “He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel…” The rebellion of Israel and the curse upon her will now be expunged and the blessings returned.
“And it shall be, in that day,” says the Lord, “that you will call Me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer call Me ‘My Master,’ for I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals [idols, or idolatry], and they shall be remembered by their name no more. In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, with the birds of the air, and with the creeping things of the ground. Bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth, to make them lie down safely. I will betroth you to Me forever; yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in lovingkindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, and you shall know the Lord. It shall come to pass in that day that I will answer,” says the Lord; “I will answer the heavens, and they shall answer the earth. The earth shall answer with grain, with new wine, and with oil; they shall answer Jezreel [literally, God will sow]. Then I will sow her for Myself in the earth, and I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy, then I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’ And they shall say, ‘You are my God!’” Hosea 2:16-23.
It is through these things that the second half of verse 3 will be realized, “…all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.” Psalm 98:3b.
“Break forth into joy, sing together, you waste places of Jerusalem! For the Lord has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord has made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.” Isaiah 52: 9-10.
This is the marvelous period called the millennium, a thousand years of peace, justice, and righteousness throughout the earth. As if that were not enough, the earth will be at peace too. The lion will lie down with the lamb; a little child will be safe playing near the hole of a cobra or any poisonous snake. It is said that the reapers in a field will catch up with those who sow.
Try to take in all the ramifications of these things; more plants, more healing oxygen in the atmosphere, no pollution, clean rivers and streams, and no starvation. Take this in, consider them carefully, the mind cannot fully grasp it! All of this is for those in Christ, who will not be here for the tribulation, and for those who choose Him while enduring the horrors of the tribulation.
“But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’” 1 Corinthians 2:9.
No wonder there will be rejoicing, after the death, destruction, chaos, slavery, rapes and torments of the tribulation are ended.
“Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises. Sing to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of a psalm, with trumpets and the sound of a horn; shout joyfully before the Lord, the King.” Psalm 98:4-6.
“Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth…” there will be a spontaneous worldwide celebration, just as it must have been after the end of World Wars I and II. The first one was called the war to end all wars, but it was only the beginning of sorrows.
“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom [world war]. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:7-8.
However, Scripture says this of the government of the Lord Jesus Christ:
“Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” Isaiah 9:7.
“Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end…” At the end of the thousand year rule of Christ on earth Satan will be loosed from his prison and will foment rebellion among those born during the millennium that had rejected Christ’s rule in their hearts [Revelation chapter 20]. But it will be ended shortly and the reign of Christ will flow into eternity. This is the meaning of the words, “…of His government and peace there will be no end.”
“Let the sea roar, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell in it; let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills be joyful together before the Lord…” Psalm 98:7-8.
Not only will man be at peace with man, but man will be at peace with nature. The seas which would have become as the blood of a dead man (Revelation 16:3-4) will be returned to their pristine natural state; perhaps even salt free; there will be no more dying of thirst at sea.
“…the world and those who dwell in it” and “…let the hills be joyful” the earth will become stable under the feet of mankind after the devastation of tribulation earthquakes (Revelation 17-21). Weather patterns will benefit mankind, not destroy, as they do even now.
Other passages describe peace within the animal kingdom. No longer will it be kill or be killed, eat or be eaten, but the lion will actually eat straw like an ox.
Think of boating down a river like the Amazon and fishing, without the mosquitoes, suffocating heat or humidity. Think about inner tubing down such a river without worrying about crocodiles, alligators, piranha, or anacondas!
“…for He is coming to judge the earth. With righteousness He shall judge the world, and the peoples with equity.” Psalm 98:9.
This verse is very similar to the one in Psalm 96 which changes the word equity to truth.
“For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with His truth.” Psalm 96:13.
The idea of the word equity in Psalm 98:9 is one of evenness, or uprightness. No longer will it be argued in a court of law, “But your honor this person is poooor and the defendant is rich. Rich because he probably abused the pooor; he must be punished.” Guilt or innocence will not be decided by who has the lawyer who can baffle the judge with malarkey most convincingly. Rich or poor means nothing to God, only truth and guilt or innocence.
Truth is faithfulness to what is right. Think of standing before God the Son and lying about your case. Surely you shall be found guilty.
This is what the rebellion at the end of the millennium is all about; men and women will be born into a perfect world and still love sin and the thrill of hiding in the dark and defrauding others. But Jesus will be the light of the world leaving them nowhere to hide, so they will suffer until their champion Satan is released from prison. Scripture tells us this about Christ’s rule:
“His delight is in the fear of the Lord, and He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears; but with righteousness He shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, and faithfulness the belt of His waist.” Isaiah 11:3-5.
At the battle of Armageddon and while setting up His kingdom it will be necessary to strike with the rod of His mouth and to slay the wicked, for they will not enter His kingdom; and Christ will rule with a rod of iron. The righteous will not feel that rod because they will do nothing worthy of it; only those who choose sin will. This rod of iron is an inflexible adherence to truth and equity in all of His judgments.
“I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man [Jesus Christ], coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days [God the Father], and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.” Daniel 7:13-14.
“The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:35-36.
Psalm 98 taken from godisrevealed.com
Scripture taken from the New King James version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.