A JOYFUL FORETASTE
When in Psalm 100:1,2 the psalmist writes, ''Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness, and come before His presence with singing,'' there is a matter that we ought to take note of, for a right understanding of these words.
Although it was in God's temple that Israel came before His face, the statement ''come before His presence,'' for us today means "come into His house of prayer upon the Sabbath day." And we do well to bear in mind that it is God Himself Who is speaking these words to us through the psalmist. Remember that He says to us today:
All people that on earth do dwell,
Sing unto the Lord with cheerful voice;
Him serve with mirth, His praise forth tell
Come ye before Him and rejoice.
We have here a command of God to His people in every nation, tongue, and tribe. And, indeed, these have every reason to rejoice and sing. For in His house they meet God in a special way, and to a special degree. There they meet Him not only in His Word preached, but also in His Word as it is sung, and while it is sung by the sheep of His flock. And the Sabbath ought to be the happiest day of our week. We ought to look forward to it; and the joy of it ought to carry us through the week ahead. There, indeed, we should be glad that we can join hearts and voices with others to sing His praises.
Regardless of our physical condition, even though we are in financial straits, yea, even when in the last days we can not buy or sell because we refuse to take the mark of the beast, we will have reason to make a joyful noise and to come before God's presence with singing. For there He gives us spiritual food and drink, assures us that our sins are blotted out by the blood of His Son, reminds us of His faithfulness to His promises, enriches us in our faith, and in all this gives us reason to come before His face singing of His work and grace.
Psalter versification. 268:1
on the Heidelberg Catechism
Song for Meditation: Psalter number
Through the Bible in One Year
Leviticus 15 ; Leviticus 16:1-28
Quote for Reflection:
John Calvin on excommunication: "Paulís course of action for excommunicating a man is the lawful one, provided the elders do not do it by themselves alone, but with the knowledge and approval of the church; in this way the multitude of the people does not decide the action but observes as witness and guardian so that nothing may be done according to the whim of a few. Indeed, the whole sequence of the action, besides the calling on Godís name, ought to have that gravity which bespeaks the presence of Christ in order that there may be no doubt that he himself presides at his own tribunal" (Institutes, 4.12.7).