Although the psalmist in Psalm 100:2 exhorts us to serve God in His house of prayer, this also applies to our entire walk of life, and to our serving Him wherever we are. One of our versifications of "Come before His presence with singing'' is:
O make a joyful noise, ye lands.
And serve the Lord with fear:
With gladness wait His high commands,
And with a song draw near.
The Psalm does indeed speak of God's gates and courts, referring to the temple. But, as in this versification we must in all our walk of life, also during the week, wait God's high commands. We must serve Him every day and sing His praises seven days a week.
It is so much easier to serve Him and sing His praises when we are with other sheep of His flock. But we must not hesitate to do so when we are with those who never step into His house of prayer. The simple truth of the matter is that if we praise God only on the Sabbath, and do not serve His high commands the other six days, our praise is mockery. It certainly is not with sincere gladness.
Not keeping God's commandments means that we deny that He is God. And actions speak louder than words, when our life is one of sin all week. Then we make a noise on the Sabbath that only sounds like praise to God. The unbelievers round about us put more stock in what we do than in what we say. Both cannot be true. And we should bear in mind that during the other six days of the week, we are just as surely in God's presence as in His house of prayer on the Sabbath. He is God, and from Him we cannot hide.
Very important then it is that we come to His house of prayer to learn more and more of His mercy and faithfulness, but also of our calling to bless His name before those with whom we come in contact during the week; and that we show thankfulness to God for His mercy and faithfulness by a walk of love to Him. While we walk in sin our words of thankfulness for salvation from sin are not true. God blesses us daily. And in the measure that we enjoy our salvation we are going to sing praises and walk in love to God.
Devotions on the Heidelberg Catechism
Song for Meditation: Psalter #4
Quote for Reflection:
John Owen: "Aaron was made a priest with a great outward solemnity. The sacrifices which were offered, and the garments he put on, with his visible separation from the rest of the people, had a great ceremonial glory in them. There was nothing of all this, nor any thing like unto it, in the consecration of the Lord Christ unto his office. But yet, indeed, these things had no glory, in comparison of that excelling glory which accompanied those invisible acts of divine authority, wisdom, and grace, which communicated his office unto him. And indeed, in the worship of God, who is a spirit, all outward ceremony is a diminution and debasement of it. Hence were ceremonies ‘for beauty and for glory’ multiplied under the old testament; but yet, as the apostle shows, they were all but ‘carnal.’ But as the sending of Christ himself, and his investiture with all his offices, were by secret and invisible acts of God and his Spirit; so all evangelical worship, as to the glory of it, is spiritual and internal only. And the removal of the old pompous ceremonies from our worship is but the taking away of the veil which hindered from an insight and entrance into the holy place" (Hebrews, vol. 5, p. 451).
- Date: 28-February