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Sing! Sing! Sing!

“You must sing to God; you must sing! You must sing to our King; you must sing!”

(Psalm 47:7 {verse 6 in English translations})

 

Some of our translations insert the word “praises” into the text to read: “sing praises.” Though this is not a wrong inference, it is an inference nonetheless. What is most significant to understand about the command to “sing” to honor God is that the form of the verb is in what is called the “Piel” stem, implying repeated action. We are not only to sing praises to God, but we are to do so repeatedly. Notice too, the word “King” is understood properly here to be referencing God as the King, not the king that has his throne in Jerusalem. This is indicated both by the context of the psalm as a whole that speaks of God as the great king over the earth but also by the verse itself that sets up two parallel statements to add intensification. The command is given for us to sing twice and the “to whom” is the same as indicated by the parallel structure of this verse.

And oh, how many of our churches must stand convicted by the words of this psalm. How often people hardly sing as hymns are lifted up to God. While I am not advocating that people stand and bawl over all others, I am advocating that people sing with heart with the same passion as they sing along with the radio in their automobile as they drive from place to place. Sing the words with passion and zeal and with attention to the words that are printed on the page. Do you really mean the words that you are singing? Then again, perhaps that is why people don’t sing with zeal in our culture anymore — they don’t mean the words anyhow! Yikes! Isn’t that convicting!

Loved ones, song is one of the gifts that God has given to us — no other creature shares that capacity. True, some birds and other animals have what we refer to as a “song,” but here I am talking about the expression of ideas to music in a way that is melodious and edifying to all involved. We have been made to sing (amongst other things). So, let us do it! Though the organ might fill the sanctuary with sound, surely several hundred voices — even fifty or one hundred voices — should be able to dwarf the sound of the instrument’s tones. Let us commit to sing, an to sing repeatedly, continually through our lives to the praise and honor of our God and King. Let Christ’s wonderful salvation be your story and your song as you praise your savior all the day long…

This is my story, this is my song,

Praising my Savior, all the day long.

This is my story, this is my song,

Praising my Savior, all the day long.

-Fanny Crosby

Yahweh Continually Commands His Chesed and His Song is With Me

“By day Yahweh continually commands his chesed

And at night, his song is with me—

A prayer of supplication to the God of my life.”

(Psalm 42:9 [verse 8 in English translations])

 

How deep it is that this verse is when we come to terms with its language and sentiment. To begin with, do not miss the wonderful title that is applied to God on high. He is called by the psalmist, “God of My Life.” Indeed, what wonderful thoughts come to mind when we apply this title to our great God and King. He is the originator of each of our lives and he numbers our days (Psalm 139:16). He orders all things according to the counsel of his will (Ephesians 1:11) and promises to work all things out for good for those who love him and are called according to his purposes (Romans 8:28). He has the right to take me here or there for purposes revealed or known only to him and he has the right not only to use me for those purposes but also to expend my life for those purposes. Indeed, every inch of my life is at his disposal from beginning to end and every ounce of my being and my day must be dedicated to his glory alone. Indeed, he is God of my life.

And as God of me life he responds with his dRsRj (chesed) and his song. Our Bibles translate dRsRj (chesed) in a variety of ways, trying to capture the essence of the word, but the idea of dRsRj (chesed) is reflected in God’s covenantal faithfulness toward us even when we fail to be faithful to his covenant. God indeed commands that towards his own. We wander and we stray, we often choose sin, and much like sheep, we can be cantankerous and difficult to keep moving in the same direction. Yet we are never forsaken. What a wonderful promise that is given in that simple principle. When Jesus utters the words, “I will never leave nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5, also reference Matthew 28:20), that reflects the consistent testimony of God’s word throughout the Old Testament towards his people:

“It is Yahweh leading before you—he will be with you, he will not let you go, and he will not forsake you.”

(Deuteronomy 31:8)

 

“Blessed is Yahweh, who has given rest to his people, Israel, according to everything he continually promised. Not one word failed from all his good word which he spoke through the hand of Moses, his servant. Yahweh our God is with us as he was with our fathers. May he not abandon us; may he not give us up. He will stretch our hearts toward himself to walk in all of his ways and to guard his commandments, his regulations, and his judgments that he continually commanded our fathers.”

(1 Kings 8:56-58)

 

Even in redeeming his own from sin, God speaks through his prophet Hosea:

“And I will sow her myself in the land and I will have mercy on Lo-Ruhamah and I will say to Lo-Ammi, ‘you are my people.’ And he will say, ‘My God.’ “

(Hosea 2:23)

 

Yet, the promise does not end there. God also gives to us a song in our heart.

“My strength and melody is Yahweh,

He is to me salvation;

This is my God and I will glorify Him—

The God of my fathers, and I will exalt him.”

(Exodus 15:2)

 

“Praise Yahweh!

Sing to Yahweh a new song—

Songs of praise in the assembly of the faithful.”

(Psalm 149:1)

 

And indeed, when John sees the vision of heaven, one of the things he witnesses is the elders and the 144,000 still singing a “new song” to praise our almighty God. Indeed, the words of humanity could never exhaust the praise that is due to our God for what he has done for us, let praises continually fill our hearts and flood from our lips. My our life be a constant praise and witness to the goodness of God and may the song of our hearts not be the songs of this vulgar world, but ones that speak of the glory of the world to come…a subject of infinitely greater worth and beauty.

And thus we come before him with a prayer of supplication, not only asking for forgiveness for the sins we have committed, but also humbly asking God for the needs of the day to come. Indeed, did not our Lord himself teach us to pray for such needs as daily bread (Matthew 6:11)? Not only must we not forsake the privilege of coming before God’s throne, we also must never forget what a gracious gift it is to have been given such a great privilege. Indeed, our almighty God has shone his dRsRj (chesed) into our lives and filled our nights with his song—what more could we desire?