Reading through the Bible together
The command goes out to “all the earth” (v. 1) to make a joyful shout to God, because His works are awesome and even enemies submit before Him. (v. 3). Mighty are the works of our God and the Psalmist invites us to acknowledge them, like the parting of the sea and river. These were miracles exemplary of what God can do in our behalf that we may safely walk through our difficulties and problems and away from them. Yet when God does allow for us to be tested, it is to refine us for our greater good (v. 10-12). The result is a desire to give a testimony for the Lord, “Come and hear... and I will declare what He has done for my soul.” (v. 16). God is never distant. He hears our supplications (v. 19) and turns not His mercies from us (v. 20). How wonderful is that!
This Psalm invites us to bear witness to God’s goodness and express our testimony in song. Music elevates the mind, subdues the heart and captures our feelings, turning them into joy when we lift our praises to God. It is songs of victory that will echo from the redeemed entering their immortal reward. Music makes work pleasant. Music drives away discouragement. “Vocal music is one of God's gifts to men, an instrument that cannot be surpassed or equaled when God's love abounds in the soul” (Vol. 3 Selected Messages, p. 335).
“Often [Christ] expressed the gladness of His heart by singing psalms and heavenly songs. Often the dwellers in Nazareth heard His voice raised in praise and thanksgiving to God. He held communion with heaven in song; and as His companions complained of weariness from labor, they were cheered by the sweet melody from His lips. His praise seemed to banish the evil angels, and, like incense, fill the place with fragrance. The minds of His hearers were carried away from their earthly exile, to the heavenly home” (The Desire of Ages, pp. 73, 74).
We may vocalize our gratitude and express our gladness to God, but love adds genuine melody to our words and the outcome is music of praise. Music has its origin in heaven and makes the world of difference in our experience. The first time I ever made up a song was when I held my firstborn son in my arms. Love made the song emerge spontaneously from my heart. It was the melody of love. And this Psalm invites us to sing a melody of love to One we love, the God of the universe, the God of our salvation.
Aygo, an 11-year old girl from Thailand, expressed her understanding of music in a way that made me laugh, yet I agree with her simple words, “If we don’t have music, our mind is halfway.” Oh, music makes a difference in our attitude. It is the missing ingredient that makes the expression of our joy complete as we behold our Savior. God has blessed us. Let us now, as the psalmist did, bless God (v. 20). Yes, blessed be His Name forever and ever! And let our thanksgiving and praises ring out from our lips in lyrics, as we lift our souls in melody and song because Jesus has saved us.
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