Psalm 96 calls us to sing a new song. Does that mean we only sing new songs in worship? I’ve discovered that writing hymns is not an easy task. Rightly understood that is not what Psalm 96 is about.
The Psalm was used when David placed the Ark of the Covenant in the tabernacle in Jerusalem (I Chronicles 16:23-33). It marked God’s enthronement as King of Israel sitting between the cherubim in the Holy of Holies.
The psalm finds a deeper meaning in Jesus when, “The word became flesh and tabernacled among us (John 1:14). The “new song” is of salvation through Jesus’ victory over death. The same term is used in the anthem sung to the victorious Lamb. (Revelation 5:9) From this time forward humanity is dealing with a new reality.
Christ’s resurrection summons all the earth to sing to Christ the King. Christ is King over all nations. Every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and in the sea, are included in the chorus. All of creation is on its way to restoration through Christ’s victory on the cross and in his resurrection.
Therefore, “Sing to the Lord a new song: sing to the Lord all the earth…bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.”