You can suggest singing. You can even command it, as a choir director does when he gives orders to go back to do a line over to get it correctly sung. But you cannot make a sad person sing a joyful song. Singing expresses the condition of the heart. Singing is not merely making sounds with the vocal cords and lips. Sincere singing expresses what is in the heart. You have to have a reason in the heart to sing joyfully.
The psalmist had abundant reason, and therefore urges us to join him when in Psalm 98:1 he says, "O sing unto the Lord a new song; for He hath done marvelous things: His right hand and His holy arm, hath gotten Him the victory.''
What a reason that is for us to join him! Do I need to urge you to join with him in singing our Psalter versification:
Unto God our Savior
Sing a joyful song;
Wondrous are His doings,
For His arm is strong.
He has wrought salvation,
He has made it known
And before the nations
Is His justice shown.
Indeed, what a reason for singing! God's right hand and His holy arm has gotten Him the victory over sin and death! And that right hand and holy arm is His only begotten Son. He is now seated at God's right hand in our resurrected flesh. But in His person He is God, and the right and holy arm of God that saves us from sin and death.
What a wonder that salvation is, for we do not deserve it. In fact we deserve the opposite. What a wonder also, for His Son came to us by a virgin birth, and in that flesh brought an everlasting punishment to an end! The holy God dealt with an unholy people in most tender love and mercy!
Appreciate what He did for you. Thank Him for it. And sing a new song to Him in the season when we consider His Son's suffering for us. But also do that every day of the year. That salvation is a wonderful reason for singing His praises, and for singing joyfully.
Read Psalm 98
Psalter versification: 262:1
on the Heidelberg Catechism
Song for Meditation: Psalter number 404
Why not sing along??
Quote for Reflection:
… that no doubt may remain, he employs the word good pleasure, which expressly sets aside all merit. In adopting us, therefore, God does not inquire what we are, and is not reconciled to us by any personal worth. His single motive is the eternal good pleasure, by which he predestinated us. Why, then, are the sophists not ashamed to mingle with them other considerations, when Paul so strongly forbids us to look at anything else than the good pleasure of God. -- John Calvin
- Date: 23-March