Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him. Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. – Psalm 33:1-3
For those of you who are reading this devotion on the day it was published – it’s Sunday – church day. It’s the time we gather with other brothers and sister in Christ and praise God together. As we meet, we usually sing songs or hymn, but we need to pay attention to the motive behind our singing. Are we just singing because it’s time to sing? Are we singing because everyone else is doing it? Are we singing because we like the words or the tune? There is nothing wrong with any of these motives as long as they are not our primary motivation. Our chief focus must be worship.
The psalmist calls upon the righteous (that means all those who have been redeemed) to praise the Lord because we can trust in Him for salvation, knowing that His word is always true, His sovereign works are faithful, His judgement is righteous, and His loyal love to those who trust in Him is eternal.
As we read this psalm, we don’t get the impression that the writer would be happy with people sat in church playing on phones or reading the newsletter while we ought to be in worship. Neither did he expect us to be singing the words but allowing our minds to wander. This psalm is a call to be deliberate in worship. The psalmist is saying, “How can you not worship the Lord. Look at all He is and all he has done. He is most worthy of all our praise and adoration.”
The next time a worship service begins — even today — pay close attention to how you worship. Robert Robinson wrote the well-known hymn, “Come Thou Fount of every blessing” included the words “tune my heart to sing thy grace.” He realised that like a musical instrument, the environment around us brings us out of tune and that we need to regular retune ourselves in worship to bring God the praise that He deserves.