Bible Society of South Africa
Neville Turley

Gems from the Psalms – Day 18

Sing praises to the LORD

Bible text(s)

15How happy are the people who worship you with songs,

who live in the light of your kindness!

Psalms 89:15GNBOpen in Bible reader

12You are the people of God; he loved you and chose you for his own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

Colossians 3:12GNBOpen in Bible reader

16Christ's message in all its richness must live in your hearts. Teach and instruct each other with all wisdom. Sing psalms, hymns, and sacred songs; sing to God with thanksgiving in your hearts.

Colossians 3:16GNBOpen in Bible reader

Where do you most like to sing – in church, at concerts, in sports stadiums or in your shower? Singing appeals to all of us because it enables one to give vent to our inner emotions.

Songs have been an integral part of divine worship for a long time. In Exodus, we read how Moses and the Israelites sang to the Lord (Exodus 15:1) and in the same chapter (Exodus 15:21), the song of Miriam is recorded.

Psalms are literally songs of praise. In our gem for today, the psalmist describes people who worship God in song, as happy. The reason for their happiness is God’s kindness to them.

Sacred songs can really be uplifting, particularly when sung with others. Who can fail to be stirred by the Hallelujah Chorus of Handel’s Messiah, which is sung with such fervour every Easter? Modern technology such as “streaming services” (for example, Spotify) ensure that even people who live alone or live in isolated places can praise God in song.

What we must never lose sight of is the reason for our happiness. Paul, who was himself in chains at the time and had every reason to be unhappy, explained it so well in his letter to the Colossians: You are the people of God; he loved you and chose you for his own. (Colossians 3:12) Christ’s message in all its richness must live in your hearts. Teach and instruct each other with all wisdom. Sing psalms, hymns and sacred songs: sing to God with thanksgiving in your heart. (Colossians 3:16)

Knowing that God’s message, via Paul, applies to us too, is reason enough for us to sing with joy wherever we are.

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