What Revel’s “Bolero” Has in Common with Psalm 96

Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra

When you get to Psalm 96 in your reading through the Psalms, you have arrived at a Psalm intoxicated with the worthiness of God. The Psalmist knows his God and because he knows God he wants others to know Him. His Psalm is his invitation to the nations, to the all creation, to everything in creation, the seas, the animals, the trees, the mountain. Everything in creation is implored to worship the living God for His majesty, power and righteousness and, wait for it, His judgment. Yes, His judgment. 

God is to be worshiped because . . .

“The Lord reigns. The world is firmly established
it cannot be shaken. He judges the people’s fairly.”  (verse 10)


“[Worship] before the LORD, for He is coming—
for He is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness
and the people’s with His faithfulness.”   (verse 13)

God will judge the earth in faithfulness because He is righteous and the psalmist is rightfully excited about that. We should be too. Let him lead you to that experience of worship ecstasy. Let the psalmist take you on a journey just like Revel’s “Bolero” leads you to a musical ecstasy.

Read Psalm 96 

Turn My Heart into a Symphony of Praise

Like Revel’s “Bolero” it builds.
It starts simply and yet commands attention.
A snare drum, and then a flute knife through the air
and cut a path of mystery and intrigue.
The ear hears and the mind cannot escape.
Eventually oboes and horns, clarinets, and piccolos, 
and every string imaginable 
and every horn shaped by human genius,
and then each of them doubled 
and quadrupled, cymbals and timpani 
added in sequence contributing to the whole
in one of classical music’s most memorable
and recognizable classics.
All combine in one 13 minute movement,
one grand crescendo of musical ecstasy.
That’s Psalm 96.
13 verses of invitation to praise Yahweh.
29 lines of passion poured into word containers,
so that worshipers can carry their praise into
the throne room of God, King of the universe,
more, the creator of the universe,
everyone else is a pretender, 
no one else compares.
Let the whole earth tremble before Him.
Let the whole earth marvel at His beauty and power,
His glory and the wonder of His works.
An ecstasy of praise for a God above description,
more beautiful than any mountain meadow,
more wonderful than any human prince,
for this Prince is a prince of peace, 
a King who reigns and who promises judgment that is right,
judgment that is good because He is good.
judgment that is fair,
judgment that is righteous for the God of righteousness,
is incapable of anything else.
A God worthy of a crescendo of voices raised
in a symphony of worship.

Take some time and read the psalm aloud. Sense the psalmist joy. Join him. Join Him. And remember, “Jesus is coming again to judge the living and the dead.” (2 Timothy 4:1-2) Nothing is more sure than that. He is coming. 

Go to Psalm 97

And just for fun:

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