Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Our reading for this week, from Psalm 96, calls God’s people to sing a song of praise to the Lord. This is a really popular sentiment. In much of the Western world, signs and posters inviting people to sing to God sell pretty well. People of all types will endorse this idea. However, let’s take a moment to consider the actual content of the song we are to sing to the Lord.
Verse 2 makes it clear it is specifically to the Lord God described in the Bible. He is the one with a very particular name. And in the Scripture, the name of God is filled with his power and all his character. It’s the name which provides salvation to God’s people, rescue from sin. Of course, this requires that we confess that we bear sin and are in need of forgiveness. Yes, that alone makes many uncomfortable.
This is a song to the God who shows glory in his works. What are those works? The Scripture includes making a distinction between those who are justified and those who are not. It includes choosing a special people, with special customs and a special means of approach to God. Those who are not among those people, either by birthright or by conversion and commitment are excluded. They are even the object of God’s wrath. Again, many should be uncomfortable at this. The Lord we sing to calls peole to his side as the king calls his subjects into service to himself.
In this song we find that there is one God who made everything. All the other gods are idols (verse 5). The true God is the good one, full of splendor and majesty. Yet many who would post a sign or poster inviting everyone to sing to God would say that any deity is just fine. This is not the message of the Scripture.
What conclusion do we make in verses 7-9? The true God is worthy. He is the one with glory and strength. He is the one who deserves all our praise, all our service, and all our reverence. He is the one who has invited people to fellowship with him. He who made a way of approach desires us to take that way. Sing to the Lord! But let’s do it in accordance with the Scripture.
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