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 skillfully, and shout for joy.
When we worship God we ought to do so with our whole being. We should be passionate in our worship. The Psalmist starts with “Sing joyfully to the Lord”. In the ESV it is translated “Shout for joy in the Lord”. There is nothing passive about that. You are also not left wondering about the Psalmist’s joy and his call for us to be joyful.
CS Lewis in his book ‘Reflections on the Psalms’ says “praise is inner health made audible”. Our praise should be a reflection of how we feel. That is a real challenge to each of us. Does our outward praise match our feelings inside? If we don’t feel the need to praise God that probably is saying something about our inward feelings to God.
Music helps to bring out our inner emotions and so it is an aid to worshipping God both corporately and privately. I like the way the Psalmist says “play skillfully” (vs 3). While music is an aid to worship, good music is an even better aid! Whatever we do we should always do it to the best of our ability and that includes the music we use in our corporate worship.
The Psalmist goes on to remind us of some of the reasons why we should praise Him. They include His Word (vs 4); His love (vs 5); that He is the Creator (vs 6); that He is in control of the nations (vs 10) and that He watches over us, His children (vs 18-19).
We have so much to praise God for! We should be praising Him corporately but we shouldn’t forget to praise Him privately too.