“Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, His praise in the assembly of the godly!” God called Israel together for worship. They were told to “be glad” in their Maker. “Let the children of Zion rejoice in their King!” They were not consumers evaluating the various offerings of competing divinities auditioning for their support. They owed their joyful allegiance to the Lord alone.
Their celebration in God included not only singing, but also skillful playing of instruments and dancing. Why would any group of people lift up their voices in song to their God? Why would they be so bold as to join hands with their neighbors and dance for the enjoyment of an unseen King? These activities were an expression of complete devotion. They worshiped the Lord with exuberance because He was so worthy of their praise.
Not only was Israel called to rejoice in the Lord, but God also was committed in taking “pleasure in His people.” He had chosen them as the recipients of His eternal affection. He had made them beautiful, adorning them “with salvation.”
With the “high praises of God” in their “throats,” they were to go forth in battle against the Lord’s enemies. While the progress of the kingdom of God in our day is not based on taking away the lives of our adversaries, we are engaged in serious spiritual warfare. We are called to take every thought captive, and to make wise use of the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.
One day the Lord will use His church as agents of His final justice. We know that the Judge of all the earth will do what is right. We will celebrate the righteousness of all that our God does when He comes to win the final victory over evil men and angels. Until that day it is our privilege to go to the ends of the earth with the saving message of the cross of Christ. We seek to be faithful stewards of the mysteries of grace as we present the gospel to those who may have never heard of the Lord’s saving love.
As people respond to the faithful preaching of God’s good Word, they are drawn to the Savior who died for their sins. It is right for them to join the chorus of the faithful and to make melody to God. It is good to rejoice in the Lord as we “sing to the Lord a new song.”
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Father, fill our hearts with a melody of joy and grant our tongues holy words according to Your richest and fullest benediction upon Your people. We will sing of Your great nature and Your wonderful works. We will sing to You a new song. Even now in the day of pain and discipline we will honor You. You have granted to us the miracle of rejoicing, though our hearts are sad in the loss of some good gift. Surely everything You take away will be granted again to our longing eyes in new and better ways one day. The blessing that we seem to have lost, or something even more wonderful, will be our destiny in Christ, for You will be our all in all. Thank You for Your love and Your perfect promises.