THE SOUNDS OF WORSHIP
I lift my voice to You, today, my Lord. Hear the praises of my heart.
Read Psalm 98
1 Sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.
2 The Lord has made his salvation known
and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
3 He has remembered his love
and his faithfulness to Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.
4 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music;
5 make music to the Lord with the harp,
with the harp and the sound of singing,
6 with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
shout for joy before the Lord, the King.
7 Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it.
8 Let the rivers clap their hands,
let the mountains sing together for joy;
9 let them sing before the Lord,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples with equity.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat sounds can you hear as you prepare to enjoy God’s presence? Do you associate meeting God with silence or noisiness?
We live in a noisy world. Soundscapes are always changing. Technology has revolutionized how sound is reproduced and heard, with new sounds being created. Industrial cities two centuries ago were far noisier than today.
This psalm gathers together a cacophony of noise, all directed towards God! Some of it erupts from the human voice box, some from musical instruments, some is found within the created world. All this leads to the climax (9), which is a repetition of Psalm 96:13b. God the judge rules in the present and in the future and, as such, is loudly welcomed. Judgment is fearsome but is triumphantly just. God knows those who are righteous so they need not fear His judgment but can rejoice.
What sounds do you use in private worship? Does silence have a place? What sounds will be used today when you meet with others to worship God? Sounds you listen to – from music, nature, the human voice – or sounds you or others create? Not many are professional singers, but all of us can make worshipful sounds, however tuneless or whatever the volume! Voices express emotion, conveying to God our heart’s desire for Him.
‘Oh sing to the Lord a new song’ (1, ESV)! Make a sound to God, or sit in silence, as you respond to Him, recognizing He comes as a just judge.
I sit silently before You, God, basking in the wonder of Your holiness and mercy.