Around us the singing can be heard, “Joy to the world … let heaven and nature sing.” But there are many who don’t feel this joy. How can we be happy this Christmas when all is not calm and all is not bright in our world?
Something magical happens when a song can speak straight into your heart. And in this song, we hear all of creation singing to God. Why? Because he is the saviour, the king, and the judge. And on the night when Jesus came into the world, he was met with singing – for the saviour, king, and judge of our heart has arrived.
In Psalm 96, we hear of a new song. This song will go out to all the world, sung in praise of God. In Christ, God is growing us in our longing for salvation to go out to the nations, and whatever that looks like for us, we can be taking steps to love our world with the truth, in love.
The grace of God is one of the greatest things that we can know, but it’s also one of the hardest to truly remember. In Psalm 103, David reminds his soul of all the good and gracious things that God has done for him, for Israel, and for all creation, as a way to remember this grace, and to call his heart to worship.
In this Psalm, we see that Christ has started the wave of worship of God, that all creation will join in on. The question for us isn’t whether we want to start the worship, but whether we want to join the wave.
In Psalm 95, we get a picture of worshipping God with everything: our minds, our hearts, our voices, our bodies. But we can only do this because of Christ, who was the perfect worship leader for us, who sacrificed himself on our behalf, that God might look on our unimpressive worship with delight.
In Psalms 42-43, the Psalmist remembers times when he enjoyed God and praised his name, but mourned how that feeling had completely dried up. But in this state, he takes his soul to task: “Why, my soul, are you so dejected? Put your hope in God, for I will still praise him, my Saviour and my God.” In this, we can see a picture of how he took a few steps forward in the darkness of depression; he talked back to his depressed soul, and reminded himself of the Gospel–the hope that one day he would be able to praise his Saviour and his God again.
David was troubled and fearful, but he prayed to God and God answered him in an incredible way. And in this Psalm, he calls us to join in the song of God’s goodness–his overflowing, satisfying, and enduring goodness. We’re called to taste and see that the Lord is good, and we can taste and see this best in Christ and his Gospel.
In our opening talk of our new Psalms series, Nick Brennan shows us how Psalms 1 is the gateway to all the Psalms. It gives us an image of the righteous man, flowing with life, that’s ultimately fulfilled in Christ. But when we trust in him, we are united with him, and this Psalm, as well as all other Psalms, become ours as well.