A Song of Praise
96 1 Sing God a brand-new song! Earth and everyone in it, sing! 2 Sing to God - worship God! Shout the news of his victory from sea to sea, 3 Take the news of his glory to the lost, News of his wonders to one and all! 4 For God is great, and worth a thousand Hallelujahs. His terrible beauty makes the gods look cheap; 5 Pagan gods are mere tatters and rags. God made the heavens - 6 Royal splendor radiates from him, A powerful beauty sets him apart. 7 Bravo, God, Bravo! Everyone join in the great shout: Encore! In awe before the beauty, in awe before the might. 8 Bring gifts and celebrate, 9 Bow before the beauty of God, Then to your knees - everyone worship!
10 Get out the message - God Rules! He put the world on a firm foundation; He treats everyone fair and square. 11 Let's hear it from Sky, With Earth joining in, And a huge round of applause from Sea. 12 Let Wilderness turn cartwheels, Animals, come dance, Put every tree of the forest in the choir - 13 An extravaganza before God as he comes, As he comes to set everything right on earth, Set everything right, treat everyone fair.
The LORD's Dominion and Power
97 1 God rules: there's something to shout over! On the double, mainlands and islands - celebrate! 2 Bright clouds and storm clouds circle 'round him; Right and justice anchor his rule. 3 Fire blazes out before him, Flaming high up the craggy mountains. 4 His lightnings light up the world; Earth, wide-eyed, trembles in fear. 5 The mountains take one look at God And melt, melt like wax before earth's Lord. 6 The heavens announce that he'll set everything right, And everyone will see it happen - glorious! 7 All who serve handcrafted gods will be sorry - And they were so proud of their ragamuffin gods! On your knees, all you gods - worship him!
8 And Zion, you listen and take heart! Daughters of Zion, sing your hearts out: God has done it all, has set everything right. 9 You, God, are High God of the cosmos, Far, far higher than any of the gods. 10 God loves all who hate evil, And those who love him he keeps safe, Snatches them from the grip of the wicked. 11 Light-seeds are planted in the souls of God's people, Joy-seeds are planted in good heart-soil. 12 So, God's people, shout praise to God, Give thanks to our Holy God!
Praise for God's Righteousness
98 1 Sing to God a brand-new song. He's made a world of wonders! He rolled up his sleeves, He set things right. 2 God made history with salvation, He showed the world what he could do. 3 He remembered to love us, a bonus To his dear family, Israel - indefatigable love. The whole earth comes to attention. Look - God's work of salvation!
4 Shout your praises to God, everybody! Let loose and sing! Strike up the band! 5 Round up an orchestra to play for God, Add on a hundred-voice choir. 6 Feature trumpets and big trombones, Fill the air with praises to King God. 7 Let the sea and its fish give a round of applause, With everything living on earth joining in. 8 Let ocean breakers call out, "Encore!" And mountains harmonize the finale - 9 A tribute to God when he comes, When he comes to set the earth right. He'll straighten out the whole world, He'll put the world right, and everyone in it.
The LORD's Faithfulness to Israel
99 1 God rules. On your toes, everybody! He rules from his angel throne - take notice! 2 God looms majestic in Zion, He towers in splendor over all the big names. 3 Great and terrible your beauty: let everyone praise you! Holy. Yes, holy. 4 Strong King, lover of justice, You laid things out fair and square; You set down the foundations in Jacob, Foundation stones of just and right ways. 5 Honor God, our God; worship his rule! Holy. Yes, holy.
6 Moses and Aaron were his priests, Samuel among those who prayed to him. They prayed to God and he answered them; 7 He spoke from the pillar of cloud. And they did what he said; they kept the law he gave them. 8 And then God, our God, answered them (But you were never soft on their sins). 9 Lift high God, our God; worship at his holy mountain. Holy. Yes, holy is God our God.
An Exhortation to Thanksgiving
100 1 On your feet now - applaud God! 2 Bring a gift of laughter, sing yourselves into his presence. 3 Know this: God is God, and God, God. He made us; we didn't make him. We're his people, his well-tended sheep. 4 Enter with the password: "Thank you!" Make yourselves at home, talking praise. Thank him. Worship him. 5 For God is sheer beauty, all-generous in love, loyal always and ever.
A Pledge to Live Righteously
101 1 My theme song is God's love and justice, and I'm singing it right to you, God. 2 I'm finding my way down the road of right living, but how long before you show up? I'm doing the very best I can, and I'm doing it at home, where it counts. 3 I refuse to take a second look at corrupting people and degrading things. I reject made-in-Canaan gods, stay clear of contamination. 4 The crooked in heart keep their distance; I refuse to shake hands with those who plan evil. 5 I put a gag on the gossip who bad-mouths his neighbor; I can't stand arrogance. 6 But I have my eye on salt-of-the-earth people - they're the ones I want working with me; Men and women on the straight and narrow - these are the ones I want at my side. 7 But no one who traffics in lies gets a job with me; I have no patience with liars. I've rounded up all the wicked like cattle and herded them right out of the country. 8 I purged God's city of all who make a business of evil. A prayer of one whose life is falling to pieces, and who lets God know just how bad it is.
A Cry in Distress
102 1 God, listen! Listen to my prayer, listen to the pain in my cries. 2 Don't turn your back on me just when I need you so desperately. Pay attention! This is a cry for help! And hurry - this can't wait! 3 I'm wasting away to nothing, I'm burning up with fever. 4 I'm a ghost of my former self, half-consumed already by terminal illness. 5 My jaws ache from gritting my teeth; I'm nothing but skin and bones. 6 I'm like a buzzard in the desert, a crow perched on the rubble. 7 Insomniac, I twitter away, mournful as a sparrow in the gutter. 8 All day long my enemies taunt me, while others just curse. 9 They bring in meals - casseroles of ashes! I draw drink from a barrel of my tears. 10 And all because of your furious anger; you swept me up and threw me out. 11 There's nothing left of me - a withered weed, swept clean from the path.
12 Yet you, God, are sovereign still, always and ever sovereign. 13 You'll get up from your throne and help Zion - it's time for compassionate help. 14 Oh, how your servants love this city's rubble and weep with compassion over its dust! 15 The godless nations will sit up and take notice - see your glory, worship your name - 16 When God rebuilds Zion, when he shows up in all his glory, 17 When he attends to the prayer of the wretched. He won't dismiss their prayer. 18 Write this down for the next generation so people not yet born will praise God: 19 "God looked out from his high holy place; from heaven he surveyed the earth. 20 He listened to the groans of the doomed, he opened the doors of their death cells." 21 Write it so the story can be told in Zion, so God's praise will be sung in Jerusalem's streets 22 And wherever people gather together along with their rulers to worship him.
23 God sovereignly brought me to my knees, he cut me down in my prime. 24 "Oh, don't," I prayed, "please don't let me die. You have more years than you know what to do with! 25 You laid earth's foundations a long time ago, and handcrafted the very heavens; 26 You'll still be around when they're long gone, threadbare and discarded like an old suit of clothes. You'll throw them away like a worn-out coat, 27 but year after year you're as good as new. 28 Your servants' children will have a good place to live and their children will be at home with you."