Psalm 33:1-3   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 skilfully, and shout for joy.

If the Psalmist, with the somewhat limited information available to him of God’s saving grace compared with what we know, could encourage the praise of God with such enthusiasm and conviction, how much more should we!

We KNOW that our ‘righteousness’ and ‘uprightness’ can never have their source from within ourselves, but are only ours as gifts of God’s amazing, unearned, undeserved GRACE.  When we reflect on what it cost HIM, in sending his one-and-only-beloved Son into our sin-ridden world to bear all the punishment our sin-ridden hearts deserve, when we consider the utter height and depth and length and breadth of his Covenant Love (ches-ed) that inspired this Plan of Salvation, how can we NOT want to take every opportunity to SHOUT JOYFULLY his praise, and encourage others to do the same?

The Hebrew word translated ‘praise’ in verse 2 can also mean ‘give thanks’ and comes from a root meaning to ’shoot an arrow’.  It shows just how enthusiastic and focussed the psalmist is about thanking and praising the LORD who reveals himself so truly and faithfully in his Word (4), and who “loves righteousness and justice”, and who ‘fills the earth’ with “his unfailing love” (‘ches-ed’) (5).  He wants to make his praise/thanks as LOUD and far-reaching as possible (cf verse 8), so he accompanies it with whatever musical instruments he can lay his hands on!  And his heart is filled with JOY – the sort of joy that will be so infectious that others will ‘catch’ it.

Is this the sort of enthusiasm and directness that characterises the whole of our lives, and especially out corporate worship?

– Bruce Christian