I wrote a couple of days ago about those places in the Bible where inanimate creation is encouraged to – or even seen to – engage in the active praise of God. You know – where trees clap their hands and where the rocks cry out. Today’s Psalm – Psalm 98 – contains one more instance of this – one that I was not aware of before this morning’s reading. Here it is:
Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together before the Lord. . .
And, once again, this ecstasy is inspired by coming judgement:
. . . for He cometh to judge the earth . . . .
This psalm tells us more about the kind of judgement the earth is anticipating. As I argued before, it is not the kind of judgment that sentences someone to jail or to the gallows. Here is how Eugene Peterson, in his translation, The Message, renders the verse:
He’ll straighten out the whole world
He’ll put the world right, and everyone in it.