Thursday 15 October, 2020

Psalm 9

For the director of music. To the tune of “The Death of the Son.” A psalm of David. 1 I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. 2 I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High. 3 My enemies turn back; they stumble and perish before you. 4 For you have upheld my right and my cause, sitting enthroned as the righteous judge. 5 You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked; you have blotted out their name for ever and ever. 6 Endless ruin has overtaken my enemies, you have uprooted their cities; even the memory of them has perished. 7 The Lord reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment. 8 He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity. 9 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. 10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. 11 Sing the praises of the Lord, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done. 12 For he who avenges blood remembers; he does not ignore the cries of the afflicted. 13 Lord, see how my enemies persecute me! Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death, 14 that I may declare your praises in the gates of Daughter Zion, and there rejoice in your salvation. 15 The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug; their feet are caught in the net they have hidden. 16 The Lord is known by his acts of justice; the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands. 17 The wicked go down to the realm of the dead, all the nations that forget God. 18 But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish. 19 Arise, Lord, do not let mortals triumph; let the nations be judged in your presence. 20 Strike them with terror, Lord; let the nations know they are only mortal.

In this, and many other of the Psalms we are strongly encouraged, and yes, even instructed to sing praises to God. 

Now, I love singing, so this is an easy instruction for me to follow. Nothing helps me to focus on God and His goodness like singing His praises, not to mention the benefit of memorised scriptures through the worship songs I have sung throughout the years. However, I realise that a love of singing is not the case for everyone. Perhaps you were told you couldn’t or shouldn’t sing when you were younger. Perhaps you are self-conscious about your singing voice.

According to Google, the Bible contains over four hundred references to singing and fifty direct commands to sing. The longest book of the Bible, the Psalms, is a book of songs.

Why does God so often tell us not just to praise Him but to sing His praises? Why are God’s people throughout history always singing? Why words and music and not just words alone? Why does God want us to sing? Of course, I don’t have the definitive answers to these questions, but the Bible tells us that God Himself sings! In Zephaniah 3:17 God exalts over His people “with loud singing.”

In this COVID season we are discouraged from group singing in church and many of us are really missing it, so it’s even more important that we find our own private times to sing God’s praises. It’s lovely to fill our homes with beautiful recordings of worship songs, but I believe there is also a powerful spiritual connection when we sing our own praises out to God.

So, let’s sing His praise aloud! Even if you don’t like the sound of your voice, I get the strong impression that God does.

Written by Shelley Witt

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