1 Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him. 2 Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. 3 Sing to him a new song; play skilfully, and shout for joy.”
It never fails to amaze, and sometimes to exasperate me (but that’s our secret) how many people, mainly men, come to church and stand with books open and mouths closed as songs are sung in praise to God.
Well for God’s people here is a command, an imperative, “Sing joyfully to the Lord”, and the context here would seem to be occasions of worship together. The psalm writer tells that our approach should be, joyful; he describes the means, using all kinds of instruments to make music, and with ever new words that express his glory and how, skilfully! In three words, worship should be joyful, comprehensive, and skilful.
Well that’s fine for Sundays but what about the rest of the week. Is God only to be praised one day a week? Well no, clearly not but the same three words still apply. Our lives should express praise to God and that praise should be characterised by joy, more than a cheesy grin which is easily wiped off our faces but a deep contentment in knowing Jesus.
Our praise should be comprehensive, everything we do should glorify God and if that was fixed in our minds we might find that we fell into specific sins less frequently than we do; and skilfully, we should do our very best, using our gifts, our talents and learning to full effect, not to please the boss or impress the people around us, but to please God as an offering of praise to him. Praise and a life of praise is not one in seven, but seven /seven! So if we can’t praise our Saviour in these other ways Monday to Saturday then we better learn to play the one man band!