Saturday, March 26, 2022

Joyful Praise (Psalm 33)

"Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful" (Psalm 33:1).

Every pastor and teacher who has stood before a congregation during worship can attest to the tragic reality that many come dressed with dour expressions instead of joyful countenances. The reasons for this could be many—deep conviction of sin or a serious personality that doesn’t have an expressive countenance yet is truly delightful of the Lord. Yet, more often than not this solemnity is due to an indifference or apathy toward the Lord. Too often people enter the worship service with their minds on anything but the God they have come to praise and adore. Many pastors often find themselves in fits of frustration as they try to excite their congregations to praise the Lord with full hearts and joyful spirits.

David also desired to awaken the assembly to a proper worship of God. His tactics were not emotional manipulations or worldly antics, but a simple proclamation of the attributes of God. In Psalm 33, he seeks to direct our attention solely on God Himself, stirring the assembly to praise God for His infinite goodness. David proclaimed the works of the Lord, His providence and His mercy in choosing for Himself a peculiar people. “The more closely and diligently that believers consider the works of God, the more will they exert themselves in His praises,” Calvin wrote. “The righteousness of God ought justly to incite us to praise Him, but His goodness is a more powerful motive; because, the more experience which any man has of His beneficence and mercy, the more strongly is he influenced to worship Him.”

To be chosen by God and adopted into His family is an exhibition of God’s goodness beyond any of His many providential blessings. While everyone in the world benefits from the goodness of God in His rule over creation, only His people know what it means to be freed from sin. David directed the attention of the people to this incredible blessing when he said, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance” (Psalm 33:12). That God would choose us and bless us even though we are completely unworthy should fill us with joy. As we enter worship, let us fix our eyes on the goodness of God and praise Him as He deserves.

When you attend worship do you have a joyful heart that lifts praises to God? Do your thoughts wander in the service or do you contemplate the righteousness and goodness of God? At worship this Sunday make a conscious effort to meditate on the goodness of God and praise Him for who He is and what He has done.