Daily Family Worship

Psalm 96: The Beauty of Holiness

by | Jun 7, 2024

psalm 96

There are mighty passions of the human soul which seek vent, and they can get no relief until they find it in expression. Grief – acute, but silent – has often destroyed the mind, because it has not been able to weep itself away in tears. The glow of passion – fond of enterprise and full of enthusiasm – has often seemed to tear the very fabric of manhood when it is unable to either attain its objective or utter its strong desires. So it is in true religion – it not only lays hold upon our intellectual nature with appeals to our judgment and our understanding; but at the same time, it engages our affections, brings our passions into play, and fires them with a holy zeal that produces a mighty furor. And when the Spirit of God thoroughly possesses a person in this manner, he must express his vehement emotions! Our purpose, in our study of this Psalm, is to suggest two modes of expressing our consecration to God and our devotion to the Lord Jesus. These two methods are to sing about and to talk about the good things that the Lord has done for us, and the great things that He has made known to us. Let singing take the lead: “O sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord, all the earth. Sing unto the Lord, bless his name!” (verses 1-2) Then let discourse engage us, whether it is in public sermons or in private conversations: “Show forth his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people” (verses 2-3).

We begin with the voice of melody. All you who love the Lord, give vent to your heart’s emotion by song; and take care that it is sung to the Lord alone! As you stand up to sing, there should be a fixed intention of your soul, a positive decision of your mind, and an absolute determination of your heart – resolving that all the flame which kindles in your heart, all the melody that breaks from your tongue, and all the sacred swell of grateful song shall be unto the Lord, and unto the Lord alone. And if you desire to sing unto the Lord, let me recommend that you flavor your mouth with the Gospel-doctrines which savor the most of grace that is unmerited yet free! Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has begotten us again unto a lively hope! But sing also unto the Son! Adore the Lamb Who was slain. Kneel at the foot of the Cross, and magnify the Immortal One Who became mortal for our sakes. And do not forget to sing to the Holy Spirit as well! O how our hearts are reverently bound to worship the Divine Indweller Who – according to His abundant mercy – has made our bodies to be His temples, wherein He chooses to dwell!

“Sing unto the Lord a new song!” (verse 1) Let the freshness of your joy and the fullness of your thanks be as perennial as the days of heaven! And according to our text, this song is intended to be universal: “Sing unto the Lord, all the earth!” Let parents and children everywhere mingle in its strains! There is not one of us who is without a reason for song, and certainly there is not one saint who can come up with a good reason why they ought not sing a special song of praise to our Lord.

We mentioned above that this Psalm touches upon two modes of expressing our consecration to God and our devotion to the Lord Jesus. The first was to sing about the good things that the Lord has done for us. Now, however, let us move on to the second manner in which we may show our dedication to Him; let us be stirred up to daily discourse and habitual conversation, which shall be fitted to spread the Gospel that we love! Our text admonishes us to “show forth his salvation” (verse 2). You believe in the salvation of God – a salvation of grace, from first to last. You have seen it, you have received it, and you have experienced it. Well, now, show it forth! “Declare his glory among the heathen” (verse 3). Show them the justice of the great Substitution, and the mercy of it. Show them the Wisdom which devised the plan whereby – without a violation of the Law – the holy God could still pardon rebellious sinners. But we also have an injunction here to “declare his wonders among all people” (verse 3). Our Gospel is indeed a Gospel of wonders! It deals with sin in a wonderful way. It presents to us a wonderful Savior, and it tells us of His wonderful Person. It points us to His wonderful atonement, and it takes the blackest sinner and makes him or her wonderfully clean. The wonders of grace far exceed the wonders of nature! There are no miracles so matchless in wonder as the miracles of grace in the heart of a human being.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for showing us Your beautiful salvation, which takes our souls that have been contaminated with sin, and cleanses and transforms them to Your own glorious image! Amen.

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