As we noted in yesterday's lesson, the final stanza of Psalm 98 calls on the entire creation to praise God. The Bible's teaching about nature is threefold. First, this is God's world. Second, the world is not now what it was created to be. Third, one day this fallen suffering world will be renewed. 

The final stanza of Psalm 98 calls on the entire creation to praise God. In the first stanza the appeal was to Israel. In the second stanza the Gentiles were called to join in. In this last stanza the psalmist calls on what we would call the cosmos. And the reason is that God is coming to “judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity” (v. 9). In other words, the psalm ends by looking ahead to that future day when the ills of this suffering world will be set right. We know this as the day of the return of Jesus Christ. 

The second stanza of Psalm 98 praises God as King. The first stanza praised God as Savior and called on the people of Israel to sing a new song to Him. This stanza views Him as king not only of Israel, but of all people everywhere. Therefore, it broadens its call to worship to engage the whole world in singing God's praise. 

What kind of deliverance can we celebrate because of the victories God has provided through the death of Jesus Christ? The New Testament speaks of three kinds of deliverance. 

In this week's lessons, as we prepare for Christmas, I want to look at one of the greatest of the Christmas carols—not the carol itself, of course, since it is only a human composition, but at the text from which it is drawn. “Joy to the World,” by Isaac Watts, is one of my favorite carols, and it would probably be among the most favored carols on any list that might be drawn up by English-speaking Christians.