“O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.” (Psalm 98:1)
The theme of singing is frequently found in the Bible. Probably the first song ever sung was by God’s angels at the time of creation as God laid the cornerstone of the earth, “when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy” (Job 38:7).
There are nine occasions when a “new song” was to be sung by the people of God. The very first, appropriately, was to extol God’s Word and His creation. “Sing unto him a new song; . . . For the word of the LORD is right,” and then “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made” (Psalm 33:3-6). Then the second new song is placed prophetically on the lips of Christ, representing His thoughts on the cross after His sufferings were finished and He had paid the redemption price for all our sins. “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, . . . And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God” (Psalm 40:2-3).
The next has to do with spreading the good news. “O sing unto the LORD a new song: . . . shew forth his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people” (Psalm 96:1-3). The fourth is our text, focusing on Christ’s future coming as King. The next three new songs (Psalms 144:9; 149:1; Isaiah 42:10) continue that great theme.
Finally, there are two new songs to be sung by the redeemed in heaven (Revelation 5:9; 14:3). We shall then all be singing to the Lord Jesus Christ: “Thou art worthy . . . : for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9-10). HMM