Psalms 92-97 (NIV & KJV)
Jim Wilkens, Associate Pastor of Care
One of my Bibles includes a ‘chapter heading’ for Psalm 92 that reads, “A psalm. A song. For the Sabbath Day,” with no other descriptor introducing any of the Psalms that follow until the 98th Psalm. This seems, to me, totally appropriate because this group of Psalms really is intricately connected, forming a cohesive unit.
The particular verses I keep coming back to, the verses that have captured me—heart, mind and soul—are Psalm 92:1-4, and Psalm 93:5b:
“It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night, to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp. For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at what your hands have done…
…holiness adorns your house for endless days.”
Sunday after Sunday at Essex Alliance Church, we gather for the expressed purpose of worshiping and praising the Lord. Those gifted musicians among us wonderfully enhance these weekly opportunities. What has grabbed me though, is that both morning and night ought to be graced with music and melody—a music and melody that serves to enhance the rhythm of my daily worship.
As a (now former) drummer, I doubt very much that my neighbors, let alone my wife, would be too keen if I were to use such ‘instrumentation’ to “proclaim […God’s] love in the morning and…faithfulness at night.”
Even if rising before the sun, each morning really should prompt in us a grateful proclamation of God’s love—He has granted yet another day! Each night it is appropriate to look back on the closing day—not just to take stock of our own accomplishments but for the purpose of gratefully recognizing God’s mercy and grace throughout. These times of reflection, which form a portion of the spiritual practice known as the ‘daily examen,’ when entered with intentionality, yield gladness and joy! Even for one, like me, who tends to be more reserved or a bit less demonstrative than some, that joy sometimes spills out as song!
The last phrase of the last verse in Psalm 93 has also struck me at two levels. First, at the literal or face value—we know God to be holy, this is His essence and it will never fade nor change. Second, it has caused me to think about my own life as witness to God’s love and faithfulness—and by extension, our collective witness at EAC. The King James translation of Psalm 93:5b reads this way, “…thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.”
May I, Lord, live my life not only as your witness but also with joyful, daily praise. And may you, Lord, inhabit my praises…on strings or skins…morning and night. May I live my life praising you with less reserve and much joy!