“Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation!” Israel was called to worship the Lord. All the other nations had their own spiritual systems, but God’s chosen people had a singular God. He was their Rock who had saved them by His mighty hand and who called them to embrace Him and to pursue Him with heartfelt obedience.
Obeying the Lord needed to begin with worship. The Lord’s people were called to gather together and to sing to Him as the only God. In this public assembling they were identifying themselves with the Almighty, though others were ready to take aim at them.
The identity of Israel as the people who worshiped the Lord was essential to their existence. They were His chosen ones, but they were not permitted to ignore His call to worship. They not only needed to gather together. They needed to embrace Him with their heartfelt songs and prayers. They were to make a “joyful noise to Him.”
Israel’s God was a “great God.” He was far above all the angels and rulers—a “great King above all gods.” He controlled the highest heights and the deepest depths of the earth. He made the sea and the dry land. He alone had gathered His people. He chose them, redeemed them from slavery, and delivered them from foes that were too strong for them. He was their Shepherd, and they were “the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.” They were called to “worship and bow down.” They were invited and commanded to “kneel before the Lord.”
Israel’s worship of the one true God had to be more than an external ceremony that could be easily forgotten when all the singing was over. God demanded a true commitment of obedience in every area of life. In earlier centuries their fathers had heard the voice of the Lord and had hardened their hearts against the Almighty. The result was disastrous. Thousands died in the wilderness. An entire generation was not allowed to enter into the promised land.
Like Israel, the followers of Jesus Christ today have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Our salvation is entirely the work of the Son of God who has become the Rock of our salvation. Jesus is the Cornerstone of His church. We are called to identify ourselves with the those throughout the world who joyfully worship Him, even if they are despised and rejected by others. Our faithful attention to the Bible as God’s Word is a defining sign of our sincere devotion that we “make it our aim to please Him” (2 Corinthians 5:9). This is the only way of life for all who have found their rest in Jesus.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Great God, we sing praises to You. We thank You for the many blessings You bestow upon us. Your works of creation are deeply impressive. We are Your people. What a blessing it is to belong to You, O Lord! We repent of all our sin. We will not put You to the test. We will follow You in the way of faith and obedience.