# 126 A journey through the Psalms. Psalm 33 “Praise Looks Good on You”

 

Recently worshiping with NZ believers.

Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
Praise the Lord with the harp;
make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.

In his book on the Psalms, Spurgeon says concerning this psalm; “To rejoice in temporal comforts is dangerous, to rejoice in self is foolish, to rejoice in sin is fatal, but to rejoice in God is heavenly… the Hebrew verb…originally means to dance for joy and is therefore a very strong expression for the liveliest exaltation.” (# 28)

Consider the verbs used in these first 3 verse:

Sing joyfully to the Lord…
Praise the Lord…make music to him
Sing to him…play skillfully, and shout for joy.

Your experience of corporate worship will most probably depend on the church you attend. For some it may mean worship without music, even singing only the Psalms, all the way to very loud, very lively contemporary Christian music with singing and dancing. Whatever, the “norm” for your church, the point the psalmist is making is that our worship of God needs to be real and wholehearted, coming from hearts conscious of Who we are worshipping, grateful to God for being our Creator, Redeemer and King.

So, why worship at all? Well, the psalmist simply answers, because it is fitting for the upright to praise him, or as the Living Bible puts it, for it is right to praise him.

I think that maybe doing something that is “right” though does not always necessarily mean that it is enjoyable. But, in this case to do what is right, i.e. to truly worship our King and our God, can be not only enjoyable but can bring us into the presence of God in a very special way.

It is also interesting to note that sometimes this verse is translated as, praise is comely for the upright (KJV), or praise is becoming and appropriate (Amplified Bible), and even, praise looks lovely on the lips of God’s lovers (The Passion Translation).

Don Moen elaborates on this in one of his songs, “Praise Looks Good on You”, writing from God’s view point:

“When you lift Your hands up high
And you sing a song of praise to Me
It brings Me great delight
Such a lovely sight
And yes it is true
Praise looks good on You
Morning night and noon
Your praise ascends to heaven
Like the smell of sweet perfume
Filling every room
And yes it is true
Praise looks good on You”

Augustine said, “He pleases God whom God pleases.”

It is also important to note who the psalmist is talking to. Although at times in the psalms the call is for all people from all nations of the earth to bow down and worship the Lord, here the psalmist is specifically aiming at you righteous…the upright, i.e. the people of God, those who are called to live and do what is right in the sight of God. For example, as mentioned in Deuteronomy 6:18 where it says, Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may go well with you…

So why is it right or fitting?

Well, the psalmist explains by then giving the reasons by elaborating certain representative acts of God in creation and history.

Which we shall look at next time!

So, when was the last time you really worshipped God with all your heart, mind and soul? And what then is “true and proper worship”? Well, Paul says it is to firstly to “offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.” (Romans 12:1) Maybe, only as we do this are we able to truly enter in to the worship that the psalmist here talks about, i.e. to:

Sing joyfully to the Lord…
Praise the Lord…make music to him
Sing to him…play skillfully, and shout for joy.

The rest of Don Moen’s song says:

Chorus:
You bring your sacrifices
And you offer up your praise
You lift your voice with singing
But your heart seems far away
More than a sacrifice
I am looking for your life
Holy and acceptable
And pleasing in my sight

Verse 2:
So offer up your lives
Holy and acceptable
A willing sacrifice
Precious in my sight
But in all that you do
Remember all I want is You

Verse 3:
So lift your hands up high
And worship Him before the altar
Consecrate your life
A willing sacrifice
But in all that you do
Remember all He wants is You
And yes it is true
Praise looks good on you

Father, teach us to truly worship you as you deserve, not by singing louder but by giving ourselves to you as “living sacrifices, holy and pleasing” to you. That, Lord, is “true and proper worship”. Amen.

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