Psalm 98:1-2 - Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for He has done marvelous things! His right hand and His holy arm have worked salvation for Him. The LORD has made known His salvation; He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations.
On Veterans Day, we remember with gratitude the service of men and women in our Armed Forces, those who faithfully serve during days of peace and through times of conflict. They risk their lives and even sacrifice their lives to defend our freedom. The date of Veterans Day marks the end of World War I, as hostilities ceased at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. What was hopefully but wrongly called "the war to end all wars" had involved countries around the world, and the nations rejoiced to see the horrifying conflict come to an end.
The psalm celebrates another conflict and another victory revealed long ago, "in the sight of the nations." This conflict involved service and sacrifice, not of multiple military forces, but of one individual: the Son of God, Jesus Christ. The conflict and victory were determined according to the counsel of God, who had made a promise—an unbreakable covenant—to destroy the power of Satan, Eden's ancient, tempting serpent. Satan would war against the Son of God, and Christ Jesus would, by falling in death and rising from the grave, crush the serpent's power.
In Jesus Christ, God "has made known His salvation." In the sight of the nations, the Son of God was lifted up on a cross, offered up as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world, for our sins. It was not at the 11th hour, but at the 9th hour when, as darkness veiled the land, the Son of God cried out, "It is finished" (John 19:30b). He had accomplished the work He came to do: "to give His life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45b). God's promise was kept, His covenant fulfilled. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God had "made known His salvation."
In World War I, hostilities were declared over on that 11th day, but conflict continued for a time in many places. So now too, our struggle against sin, death, and Satan continues. But through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the victory has already been won. The psalm continues as it celebrates the day of Jesus' return, when every conflict will cease and death, "the last enemy," will be destroyed (1 Corinthians 15:26a). Until that day, we sing "a new song," a song of victory, celebrating anew the marvelous things that our God has done. On that great day when our Savior returns, creation will join with us in praise: "Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together before the LORD, for He comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity" (Psalm 98:8-9).
THE PRAYER: Almighty God, we give You thanks and praise for the marvelous things You have done, for the gift of Your Son, our Savior, and for the salvation that is ours through faith in His Name. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
1. What does your family do to honor/acknowledge military veterans?
2. Do you have favorite Bible books or passages that deal with battles or conflicts?
3. Is it meaningful to veterans to thank them for their service in the Armed Forces? Do you think they appreciate hearing that?
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