Psalm 96:11-13 - The Verses Project

Bible Psalm 96:11-13

Posted January 12, 2015

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.

Psalm 96:11-13 culminates in a staggering picture of the whole earth, creation included, worshiping this God of splendor and holiness! The psalmist spares no one from his call: he cries out to the heavens, the earth, the sea, to the fields, and even to the trees! This is a reminder that not only does God restore individuals, but He also will one day restore all things, the earth included (Revelation 21-22). George Eldon Ladd commented that, “the biblical idea of redemption always includes the earth.” How will He do this? The Bible speaks of Christ’s return as Judge to deal effectively with sin, its effects and establishing His kingdom, bringing about a new heavens and a new earth. This new heavens & new earth entails not the destruction of all things, but rather the restoration of all things. A broadly evangelical understanding of Christ’s return is summarized concisely here by The Gospel Coalition:

“We believe in the personal, glorious, and bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ with his holy angels, when he will exercise his role as final Judge, and his kingdom will be consummated. We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the just and the unjust—the unjust to judgment and eternal conscious punishment in hell, as our Lord himself taught, and the just to eternal blessedness in the presence of him who sits on the throne and of the Lamb, in the new heaven and the new earth, the home of righteousness. On that day the church will be presented faultless before God by the obedience, suffering and triumph of Christ, all sin purged and its wretched effects forever banished. God will be all in all and his people will be enthralled by the immediacy of his ineffable holiness, and everything will be to the praise of his glorious grace.”

May we join in the earth’s groaning as we long for Christ’s return! Until that day, may we joyfully proclaim to all, “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again…”

For further reading on this, pick up NT Wright’s “Surprised By Hope”.


Song by Robbie Seay.
Artwork by Zach McNair.