Who are we?

In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Psalm 92 - Reasons for Singing on the Lord's Day

The heading of the psalm, which indicates it was to be used on the Sabbath, is an instruction for the Levites who sung in the temple. A specific psalm was sung each day: (1) 24; (2) 48; (3) 82; (4) 94; (5) 81; (6) 93 and (7) 92. The probable reason why Psalm 92 was chosen as especially suitable for use on the Sabbath is that it describes a person who celebrates God’s works (vv. 4-5), which was what God himself did on the first Sabbath after his work of creation (Gen. 2:1-3).

In verse 1, the psalmist states that it is good to express our thankfulness by singing praises to God. Such an activity is good for several reasons: it indicates a godly character in the grateful person; it encourages others who share his outlook; and it pleases God. Verses 2 and 3 indicate when and where the praise was offered. The reference to morning and evening points to the morning and evening sacrifices and the reference to musical instruments would also point to temple activities. So here we have another aspect of activity of the Sabbath – joining together with God’s people for family worship.

Worship should be marked by gladness in what the Lord has done (vv. 4-5). The psalmist could rejoice in God’s work of creation and in what he had done for Israel. When we worship, we not only focus on God as our Creator, we also think about him as our Saviour and rejoice in Jesus and what he has done. Our worship should also be marked by an increasing sense of wonder at the Lord’s achievements.

In contrast, those who ignore God cannot understand this (v. 6) and imagine that they are right because they seem to have the majority on their side (v. 7). The psalmist realises that the support of a majority cannot make a stupid decision into a wise one. It will do the wicked no good at all to perish with the majority. The psalmist meditates on the fact that in the future God will have total victory over his enemies (vv. 8-9). And that is another suitable activity for the Sabbath – to consider what will happen to the ungodly on the Day of Judgement.

Even in this life, the Lord works in providence on behalf of his people and the psalmist records his personal experience of divine deliverance in verses 10 and 11. He had been in a difficult situation. Yet he had received total deliverance and divine refreshment from the Lord, a reminder that often God’s people receive help and comfort at the same time from him. As the psalmist did, so on the Sabbath we should think about God’s personal dealings with us.

As the psalmist participated in the worship of God he looked around and saw many mature believers in a healthy spiritual state (vv. 12-14). They had gone through life’s experiences and because of God’s grace they were dignified (palm tree), strong (cedars can withstand storms), vibrant (sap) and consistent (ever green). The reason why they had become such people was because their spiritual roots were connected to the worship of God. A lifetime of participating in regular public worship will bring its visible reward. A good thing to do on the Sabbath is to consider the spiritual stature of those who have been devoted to God throughout their lives and to remind ourselves that what he has done for them he will do for all who are devoted to him.

No comments:

Post a Comment