(Part 7) A Call To Exalt The Lord As King And Righteous Judge Of All The Earth
By Pastor Robbie Casas
III. The Final Call (96:11-13)
a. The Universal Call to All Creation to Rejoice in God (vv. 11-13a)
Read Ps 96:11-13a:
11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
Let the sea roar, and all it contains;
12 Let the field exult, and all that is in it.
Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy
13 Before the Lord….
In these verses the psalmist now calls the whole of creation to worship and rejoice in God. Again, God’s reign
extends beyond the “families of the peoples” (v. 7) of “all the earth” (vv. 1, 9) to all of His creation.
Note the words that refer to the whole of creation. The word “heavens” does not only refer to the sky in which the clouds move but also to the firmament where the celestial bodies are seen. So this word can refer to the visible universe from the psalmist’s perspective. Then there are the references to “the earth,” “the sea…, and all it contains,” “the field…, and all that is in it,” and “all the trees of the forest”.
Note also the psalmist’s use of the figure of speech called personification, where inanimate creation is described as persons here engaged in joyful worship: “the heavens be glad,” “the earth rejoice,” “the sea roar,” “the field exult,” “the trees of the forest will sing for joy.”
All this joyful worship is “Before the Lord” (v. 13a) – implying submission to and acknowledgment of “the Lord” who “reigns” as King over all His creation.
This may also be an indication of the thriving of all creation when the Lord finally judges wickedness on earth and rules in righteousness, finally removing the curse of sin on creation at the glorification of those He had saved. Read Rom 8:19-23: “19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.”
In relation to this, going back to Ps 96, the Reformation Study Bible says this about God’s judgment mentioned in vv. 10 and 13: “The sense is that He comes to put everything back into proper order, which is why the creation is rejoicing in vv. 11, 12.” What a glorious time that would indeed be!
Praise God that He is indeed the Most High, the supreme Lord and Ruler of the entire universe!