>Believing that part of honoring the Lord’s Day is to rest from my regular work and since my regular work is writing, I don’t write on Sundays. But Psalm 92 is too good and too appropriate not to share today, on this day that the Heidelberg Catechism calls the “festive day of rest” (Lord’s Day 38, Q & A 103).
The sub-heading of Psalm 92 informs readers that it is “A psalm. A song. For the Sabbath day”.
It is good to give thanks to the LORD
and sing praises to your name, O Most High,
to to declare your steadfast love in the morning
and your faithfulness by night,
to the music of the lute and the harp
to the melody of the lyre (1-3).
While I admire the commitment of those godly believers who sing only a capella all the time, I believe these few verses alone shoot to shreds all the arguments against incorporating the use of instruments in worship.
My husband and I began singing in the church choir a couple of years ago, which has been an amazing blessing. We don’t care about “performing” or any of the things associated with that concept. Our choir director always urges us to think about the words we sing. And she always chooses music with beautiful tunes and bibical lyrics. For us, it’s all about praising God. And praising him in corporate worship with other believers, from the pew every Sunday or from the balcony with the choir, is a small foretast of heaven. It is indeed, good to give thanks to the Lord and sing praises to his name!
Verse two seems almost an apologetical in defense of two worship services on Sunday, but I’m sure the point here is that we are to praise God continually. Our thoughts ought to be directed toward God in praise every part of every day and night.
Believers can worship with joy when they consider God’s mightiness and majesty, as well as his holiness and his judgment against the wicked.
For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work;
At the works of your hands I sing for joy.
How great are your works, O LORD,
Your thoughts are very deep!
The stupid man cannot know,
the fool cannot understand this:
that though the wicked sprout like grass
and all evildoers flourish,
they are doomed to destruction forever;
But you, O LORD, are on high forever.
For behold, your enemies, O LORD,
for behold, your enemies shall perish;
all evildoers shall be scattered (4-9).
God has done marvelous things. By the power of his word, he created all things and continues to sustain them. He providentially works all things together for the good of his dear children. His works and his thoughts are great and profound far beyond our finite imaginings. Even believers cannot fully understand the greatness of our God. But unbelievers truly have no clue. They may appear to thrive for a time, but our eternally exalted Lord will destroy the wicked forever.
Those who are righteous, not on the basis of their own works but only because of Christ’s all-sufficient atonement, have strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow because their salvation has already been accomplished. It is so sure that God speaks of it in the past tense. They already have been exalted!
But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox;
you have poured over me fresh oil.
My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies;
my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants.
The righteous flourish like the palm tree
and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
They are planted in the house of the LORD;
they flourish in the courts of our God.
They still bear fruit in old age;
they are ever full of sap and green,
to declare that the LORD is upright;
he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him (10-15).
On this festive day of rest, we can worship with other believers knowing that God has already accomplished great works in our lives. We are already exalted!
We are planted in God’s house and we can flourish in the courts of corporate worship. Even in our old age, we will bear fruit and be verdant. We will still be able to declare that “the LORD is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him!”