Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who dwell in it! Let the rivers claps their hands; let the hills sing for joy together before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. (Psalm 98:7–9)
It’s an absolute hoot. The sea itself roars. And then all the things in the sea roar along with it.
Then there’s all the world, and every single thing that lives in the world. And then there’s the rivers clapping their hands. Can you imagine that? Rivers clapping their hands.
The mountains and hills get in on this too. They lift their voices together in a harmony and range more incredible than we can begin to fathom. Strike up the band! Come enter in! Everything we could imagine, and things we could never imagine, come together in a curtain-closing, everlasting jollification of maximum joy. Why?
Because Jesus has come back, for good.
The hope of all the earth has finally become reality. That which all the earth has seen from afar, through the ups and downs of a fallen world, through the fog that is our fallen lens, that is now standing right before us. And it is standing before us in the person of Jesus, our resurrected and returned king. He has come back. His kingdom is here, and his reign is final.
We Know by Name
This is the hope of Psalm 98. It looks forward to the end of time as we’ve known it. It looks forward to the day when all evil is ended, the day when the wicked are judged and banished — the day when all the rescued sinners for whom Jesus died are gathered together to celebrate the victory of God.
It would be a day, as the saints of old used to dream, when all the ends of the earth would see the salvation of our God. They knew, sooner or later, it was coming, and the Messiah would usher it in. But what they knew by faith, we know by name. Jesus is the king.
So We’ll Sing
Jesus is the Lord who has come, and will come again in the end. Jesus is the king so true that one day every knee will bow before him. He’s a king so good that in his presence we find the fullness of joy. He’s a king so gentle that he gives rest to the burdened, the king so fierce that he will crush the wicked with his word, the king so humble that he gave up his rights for the undeserving.
He’s so trustworthy that he’s the same yesterday, today, and forever. He’s so near that right now, even in this very moment, our lives are actually hidden in his. He’s a king so loving that he didn’t leave it for you and me to choose him, but he chose us. Jesus is a king so holy — so different from us — that although we have rebelled against him, although we have sinned against him, he took our sins upon himself and suffered for them in our place. Jesus is a king so undefeatable that though he died and was buried, on the third day he was raised from the dead and is ascended, and right now, in this very moment, he is alive and real, and he changes everything.
And we are going to sing praise.
We are going to sing praise now because of what Jesus has already done, and because of what he is yet to do. And we are going to sing then, forever, with all the earth, because Jesus is our king and he has come for good.