The Psalmist declares his love for God’s law, and demonstrates that love by meditation and obedience. The blessings of such devotion pour in as he becomes wise and gains understanding. God’s precepts protect him from his enemies, and although a teacher has knowledge and an old man has experience, the Psalmist’s love of God’s word gives him more understanding than either of these. Keeping God’s precepts keeps him from evil, and in this way, the living word loves the Psalmist back, and is sweeter than honey to his mouth. As you come to worship today, come prepared to meditate on and obey God’s word, and taste and see how sweet it is.
Lamentations calls for hope in the middle of affliction. With the taste of wormwood and gall still on his tongue, the writer calls to mind the steadfast love of the Lord, His new mercies, and His great faithfulness. When circumstances are miserable, hope is found in the character of God. When these truths about God are forgotten, hope dies. But when they are called to mind, the bitterness of affliction is replaced by the sweetness of a hope that trusts in the goodness of the Lord. So as you come to worship today, whatever affliction you may face, trust God, wait patiently for God, and seek God, for it is good that you wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
Psalm 96 is an exhortation to evangelistic singing. The Psalmist calls on God’s people to declare His glory among the nations by rejoicing in His marvelous works. Other gods can’t create the world or save people like the true God, and no other god dwells in such splendor and majesty as the Lord! When the nations hear God’s people exulting in the glory and strength of their God, they are being summoned to leave their worthless idols and tremble before the Lord who brings justice to the world and salvation to all who call on His name. And so as you come to worship today, come as musical missionaries by singing to the Lord!
In Psalm 110, the Lord God speaks to David’s Lord, instructing Him to take His seat in the place of authority at God’s right hand. This king’s rule is empowered by God. His enemies cannot overthrow Him. His own people willingly serve Him. On top of this, God swears to make Him a priest forever like the priest-king Melchizedek, who received honor from Abraham, the first Hebrew “king”. David then praises God for what He empowers the king to do: this kingly priest will execute God’s judgment all over the earth, and put an end to the world’s rebellion. As we celebrate Ascension Sunday, we proclaim that Jesus Christ is the one who sits enthroned at God’s right hand, and we rejoice that by the sword of His Spirit, He is causing knees to bow all over the earth in worship.
In Psalm 150, the Psalmist’s calls for instrumental praise are filled with echoes of the creation account in Genesis. God is to be praised in the expanse, and everything that has breath is called to praise God. After speaking something into being out of nothing, God refined His creation by separating, dividing, and fashioning, ultimately turning dust into man. Mankind imitates God by crafting instruments for praise from the things that God made, and we use these inventions to praise our Supreme Creator. As you come together to worship God, join your breath to the sounds of creation refracted through horns and strings. Praise the Lord!
Psalm 118 celebrates the steadfast love of the Lord, and when it is read on Easter Sunday, we are called to hear the middle section with the resurrection in our hearts. The right hand of the Lord does valiantly by bringing the Lord Jesus through death, so that death is not the final word. Instead of forever taking our praises to the grave in death, Christ’s death becomes for us the gates of righteousness, which those who have been made righteous in Christ enter through to give thanks to the Lord. The Lord has become our salvation, and His work is marvelous in our eyes. The day of resurrection becomes the day that the Lord has made for us to rejoice in and be glad, for we shall not die, but in Christ, we shall live.
Psalm 91 celebrates the protection that God provides to His people. When you live in God’s house, you are under His care, and so His house becomes a refuge and a fortress, a place of safety and peace. Because you love God, and know His name, He promises to deliver you and to answer you when you call. God takes it upon Himself to make sure that no evil befalls you, since you trust in Him. As you come to worship today, you are placing yourself under God’s protection. When you look for His help, He promises to show you His salvation. You have taken refuge in the fortress of the Most High God, so come and worship without fear in the shadow of the Almighty!