Psalm 96 opens with an invitation to celebrate God. This is what the exhortation to “sing” means.
A “new song” is warranted because we are not living in an old experience but something fresh and current. We don’t just celebrate what God has done in the past but also what is happening in the present. This is what praise is: an act of celebration. It is not just some solemn duty. It is an expression of enjoyment. The Westminster Shorter Catechism famously states: “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.”
The Christian life and the Christian community should be characterised by enjoyment. It should not be stern and solemn affair. We should indeed share sadness and grief but even through all this we have something wonderful to celebrate. Through all the hardships and losses of life we need to be reminded that the source of our joy is our relationship with God which is secure and unbreakable. Because of what Jesus has done in paying for our guilt nothing can separate us from the love of God. This is our joy, this is the source of our enjoyment.
The Psalms call us, again and again, to respond to God through praise. Praise is an act of celebration and we celebrate to perpetuate our enjoyment. The key aspect of celebration is, of course, other people. It’s good to praise God on your own, but even better to praise Him with others. Praise, in its fullest expression, involves telling other people about God, particularly those who don’t know Him.
Read Psalm 96. Continue to ask God for opportunities to share with others what God has done for you.
Written by Dr. Matthew Jacoby. Matthew’s central passion is for communicating the Word of God. His desire is to learn what it means to live life by the Spirit of God, to learn to listen to God constantly and to be a transparent and honest witness to the faithfulness of God. He is the author of the daily devotional Thrive.
Taken from the latest copy of Thrive – The Prophets, The Oracle Continues. February – April 2018
Published 2017 by 5ive Pty Ltd.
Used with permission
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