There is a well-known and frequently quoted passage in Ecclesiastes that declares, "There is a time for everything,…a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance" (Eccles. 3:1, 4). The passage is familiar and frequently quoted because it applies to so many experiences of life. The point I want to make here is that it applies to Psalm 98.

We do not naturally hate evil. In fact, the opposite is the case. We naturally love sin. We are intrigued by wrong in other people, and we do not want to part with the sins we ourselves are practicing. We must learn to hate sin, and we will, if we are getting to know God.

The fourth of these five stanzas returns to the theme introduced at the end of the preceding psalm, namely, the righteous judgment of God. Zion and the surrounding villages are rejoicing, and the reason they are rejoicing is that God has intervened in history to establish his righteous kingly rule over the entire earth. 

Why do we appear to serve these "lesser gods"? Probably it is because we know so little of the true God! And the reason we know so little of the true God is that we spend so little time with him. How foolish for us who have the Word of God, the Bible, and who possess the Holy Spirit who has been given to us to help us understand the Bible and obey it. Psalm 119 says, "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you" (v. 11). And again, "I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path" (v. 104).

In this world we see much injustice and look hopefully for the personal return of our Sovereign. But in the meantime, the fact that God is sovereign is an immense source of comfort to God's people.