Psalm 96 is a psalm of praise. We read in the first three verses, “O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth. Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people.” A ‘new song’ was called for. I’m sure that most of us have learned that with each new source of joy from the Lord, it necessitates a new song sung from the depths of our hearts. In this psalm, we are encouraged to:

* Sing unto the Lord

* Bless His name

* Shew forth His salvation

* Declare His glory among the heathen

* Declare His wonders among all people.

Now, to answer your good question, let’s read Psalms 96:4-5, “For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.” Indeed, our God is a great God. We read in Deuteronomy 10:17, “For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, A GREAT GOD, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward.” Even as the heathen imagined their gods to be great, the ONE TRUE GOD is greater and mightier than any of these so-called gods. Jeremiah tells us of our God in Jeremiah 10:10, “But the LORD is the TRUE GOD, he is the LIVING GOD, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.”

As for the idols of man’s creation, we read in Psalms 115:4-8, “Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. THEY THAT MAKE THEM ARE LIKE UNTO THEM; so is every one that trusteth in them.” The idols of man are lifeless. They are powerless; they cannot speak, they cannot see, they cannot hear, they cannot smell, they cannot handle, they cannot walk, they cannot reason. The people who build and worship these idols become just as powerless as the idols they are devoted to. Although these idols, these false gods were reverenced, the Lord was worthy of greater reverence for He alone is the TRUE GOD. We hear the words of the Lord in Isaiah 45:5, “I am the LORD, and THERE IS NONE ELSE, THERE IS NO GOD BESIDE ME: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me.”

All the idols were made by someone. God is the one who made the heavens. The Lord had said to His people in Leviticus 26:1, “Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD.” It is God who made the heavens. Indeed, the Lord made all things. We read in Colossians 1:16, “For by him were ALL THINGS CREATED, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: ALL THINGS WERE CREATED BY HIM, AND FOR HIM.”

With that reality understood, we read in Psalms 96:8-9, “Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.” May we destroy all the idols in our lives. (An idol is anything we place above or before the Lord.) May we meditate upon the words of this psalm and truly give to the Lord “the glory due unto his name.” (273.4)