>Joyful Judgment, Psalm 98

>Does the title “Joyful Judgment” seem like an oxymoron to you?

It may, unless you read Psalm 98, which reflects such joyful anticipation of Christ’s return that one almost hopes Harold got one thing right.

Harold Camping is the voice of Family Radio, which has some edifying programs (Radio Reading Circle, Family Bible Reading Fellowship), but is also the sounding board for Harold’s aberrant theological views regarding the church age and his preposterous prophetical predictions. He currently predicts that “the Bible guarantees” Judgment Day on May 21, 2011.

The Bible assures us that “no one” knows that day and hour, not even the angels in heaven or the Son, but only the Father (Matthew 24: 36, Mark 13:32). So I’m pretty sure Harold Camping hasn’t received some secret revelation. Although I admit there are times when I long so much for that day that I almost hope Harold is right.

And reading Psalm 98 certainly makes one long for that day. Psalm 98 is subtitled “Make a Joyful Noise to the LORD” in my regular English Standard Version Bible and “Let the sea roar” in my Literary Study Bible ESV.

The psalm rocks with praise, beginning with these marvelous and familiar words:

Oh 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
(verse 1).

Salvation is one of the most marvelous and most powerful things God has done. But he hasn’t kept it a secret revealed only to a chosen few; he has made it known throughout the world:

The LORD has made known his salvation;
he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations

God has revealed salvation globally, but God’s global revelation has been particularized in his covenant relationship with those he loves, the chosen nation of believers, Abraham’s true children.

He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God

Because all the earth can see how God’s love and faithfulness to believers never fails, the whole earth should joyfully praise God (4-6):

Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises!
Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre,
with the lyre and the sound of melody!
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD!

The above verses certainly seem to shoot down arguments against instruments in worship. God loves the joyful noise of praise! And he commands the use of various instruments.

The biblical image of the sea often represents nations in a rebellious uproar, but in this psalm it is coupled with the world’s people and seems to be part of the teeming creation praising God with a joyful noise (7):

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who dwell in it!

Creation and creatures unite in praise to the Creator! Why?

Let the rivers clap their hands;
let the hills sing for joy together
before the LORD, for he comes
to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity

Creation and Christians rejoice with wild abandon because the Lord is coming! He is coming to judge the world and its people.

It may seem odd to equate such animated praise with Christ’s judgment, but that is the reality for believers. The unrepentant and unbelieving do well to tremble in silent contemplation of Christ’s return, but repentant believers join creation in recognition of Christ the Creator and the King. He will judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with equity. He will free believers from this constant death and turn their mourning into everlasting song!

Come quickly, Lord Jesus!


2 thoughts on “>Joyful Judgment, Psalm 98

  1. >While individual false prophets like Harold Camping have come and gone, the Jehovah's Witnesses are the only existing worldwide religious organization formed (in the 1880s) for the sole purpose of preaching that Jesus Christ had already returned in 1874 — invisibly and secretly to everyone except followers of the WatchTower Society. Here is the internet's BEST and most brief historical summary of the Jehovah's Witnesses — who are an offshoot of the Adventists: http://jwemployees.bravehost.com/JWInfo/1001.html The following webpage explains how the Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide preaching work fulfills Jesus Christ's warning to his followers — as recorded in Matthew 24 — that while some false prophets would predict the time of His Second Advent, that a certain False Prophet also would proclaim that He had already returned, and only that False Prophet knew when and where: http://jwbookstore.bravehost.com/books/signtimes.html

  2. >Stamping Out Harold Camping I don't care a fig for date-setters, especially those who predict when Christ will return. The current champion is 89-year-old, headline-grabbing Harold Camping of Family Radio fame. Is Second Coming date-setter Harold Camping worthy of death? He already has a zero batting average after his September 1994 prediction fizzle and, according to the Bible, is a false prophet. Nevertheless that California shaman, who should be ashamed, claims he's found out that Christ's return will be on May 21, 2011 even though Matt. 24:36 says that no one knows the "day" or "hour" of it! A Google article ("Obama Fulfilling the Bible") points out that "Deut. 18:20-22 in the Old Testament requires the death penalty for false prophets." The same article reveals that "Christians are commanded to ask God to send severe judgment on persons who commit and support the worst forms of evil (see I Cor. 5 and note 'taken away')." Theologically radioactive Harold Camping and his ga-ga groupies (with their billboards featuring "May 21, 2011") should worry about being "stamped out" if many persons decide to follow the I Cor. 5 command. The above article concludes: "False prophets in the OT were stoned to death. Today they are just stoned!" PS – For many years Camping was not known as a pretrib rapture teacher. But now, for $ome my$teriou$ rea$on, he seeks support from those who believe in and teach an imminent, pretrib rapture which supposedly will occur SEVERAL YEARS BEFORE the traditional SECOND COMING to earth! For a behind-the-scenes, documented look at the 181-year-old pretrib rapture belief (which was never a part of any official theology or organized church before 1830!), Google "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty," "Pretrib Rapture Diehards" and "Pretrib Rapture – Hidden Facts." These are from the pen of journalist/historian Dave MacPherson a.k.a the "Pretrib Rapture Answerman" & the "Rush Limbaugh of the Rapture" – author of the bestselling book "The Rapture Plot," an "encyclopedia" of pretrib rapture history (see Armageddon Books). [ran into above web bit. Doris]

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