The Posture of Praise (Psalm 147:1)

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For most of my adult life I have struggled with the temptation to depression, and sometimes the battle is intense.

An influential believer of the 1500s by the name of “John of the Cross” referred to depression as “the dark night of the soul.” Edward Welch refers to such feelings as “the stubborn darkness”; a darkness that stubbornly refuses to lift. Spurgeon used to call it the “black dog” that would hound him. I know, to some degree, what it is like to awake with the sense that such a dog is staring me in the face, growling loud with threats of hopelessness.

Over the years, I have learned some approaches to look up and to fight such temptation, but recently I was reminded again of God’s fundamental antidote for it: praise.

As I read the Word on my day off recently, I was struck by the words of Psalm 147:1: “Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.”

It was one of those texts-leaping-off-the-page moments. I went out and cut the grass, chewing on this truth while that persistent black dog chased me around the yard. And, by God’s grace, it finally got tired and fell away. I am sure that it is merely resting somewhere, awaiting another attempted attack, but I plan, by the aid of my God, to be ready the next time it growls. My prayer is that this message will help you in the same way, and that it will be a means of equipping you to help others who will need a word in due season from you.

The Background

As with many of the Psalms there is much speculation as to the occasion of this one being written. Sometimes Psalms contain historical pieces of information that we are able to piece together to come to a reasonable conclusion as to the events that inspired its composure. Such may be the case with Psalm 147.

There are various internal evidences which point to the events of Nehemiah 12, when the people rejoiced greatly at the completion of the wall and the subsequent settling and ordering of the city.

You may recall that Ezra had come many years earlier to oversee the rebuilding of the temple. After fits of start and stop, the temple was eventually rebuilt. Sadly the city still lay in ruins and the temple was unprotected from the opposing peoples surrounding Jerusalem. Enter Nehemiah.

As the appointed governor of the people, he led them in an amazing building program. The returned remnant from the Babylonian captivity laboured hard to rebuild the walls, and in a mere 52 days, in the face of great opposition, the project was completed. The remnant had also drawn lots as to who would move into the city. This having been accomplished, it was now time for a celebration that God’s chosen city had been reestablished. That is what is recorded in Nehemiah 12:27-43. Choirs were assembled and much praise was lifted as the people reflected on the good and gracious governance of God. This is precisely the theme of Psalm 147.

We cannot say for sure whether or not this was the specific backdrop to this Psalm, but what is clear is that this Psalm celebrates God’s rebuilding and reestablishing of Jerusalem as the City of God. The Psalm emphasises God’s love and care for His people, and the reality that to be in such a position is only God’s grace. Joseph Alexander remarks that this is “a song of praise to Jehovah on account of His goodness to His creatures generally, and to His church or chosen people in particular.”1

Whatever the particular circumstance that led to its composition, it is clear from the content of the Psalm that God’s people are to live with a posture of praise in the face of the truth that God governs all that happens in the world—yea, in the universe—with special reference to His cherishing and building of the church. In other words, whatever you are experiencing—in whatever sphere—praise is to be your default mode. You and I are to have a posture of praise.

It should also be noted that this Psalm forms one of the five final Psalms in the Psalter, each of which emphasises praise. These are “Praise Psalms,” which are imperatives to God’s people as well as to all the nations (and all of creation for that matter) to praise the Lord. They are “Hallelujah Psalms.” These five all have the same fundamental message: God’s creation is to adopt the posture of praise; especially those who believe Him.

It is an inescapable theme in Scripture that those who belong to God by virtue of the new birth are to live to the praise of the glory of His grace (Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14). “Praise of God is the appropriate response of intelligent people toward the might, majesty, and mercy of God.”2 In fact this was why God chose Israel to be His unique possession. The Lord said of Israel in Isaiah 43:21, “This people I have formed for Myself; they shall declare my praise.” And of the new covenant church, Peter writes, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

We are saved for God’s glory and that glory is to be declared. A major means of doing so is by praising Him—in all of life. This seems to be the burden of the Psalmist in these closing five Psalms, and it needs to be ours as well. How we speak of God—in all occasions of life—either reflects God’s glory or detracts from it. This is why our lives need to be marked by the posture of praise. Whether the Lord gives or takes away, our lips and the demeanour of our lives needs to be that of Job—“Blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21)—even when we declare it through tears flowing from a shattered heart.

We will consider just the first verse in this study, and return to the rest of the Psalm in future studies. It may be helpful, however, to outline the entire Psalm at this point:

  1. The Responsibility to Praise (v. 1)
  2. The Reasons to Praise (vv. 2-20a)
    • Growth
    • Governance
    • Grace
  3. The Response of Praise (v. 20b)

The Responsibility to Praise

Verse 1 sets forth the responsibility to praise: “Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful” (v. 1). We will note four aspects of this responsibility.

Praise is Commanded

Scroggie notes that the word “praise” occurs seven times in this Psalm and therefore calls this “a song in praise of praise.”3 That is a helpful observation. Our responsibility to praise needs to be given serious attention. And one reason is because we are commanded to do so.

The Bible uses various words for praise, and uses these in various ways. Sometimes it is used to laud the deeds of someone, but in the majority of cases it is used with reference to our expected response to God.

It will be helpful for us to define what it means to “praise” the Lord. According to Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, the word basically “connotes being sincerely and deeply thankful for and/or satisfied in lauding a supreme quality or great object. It is to be offered in an attitude of delight and rejoicing.”

It should be noted in this definition that “belief and joy are inextricably intertwined.” To the degree that we believe God and to the degree that we take Him and His Word seriously, to such a degree we will be joyful—in whatever state we find ourselves.

Let me put it this way: Praise is the faithful response to greatness. And it is verbal.

Imperative Rooted in Indicative

The largest occurrences of “praise” with reference to God are imperatives, which summons the worshipper to praise God. In other words, we are commanded to praise God. As we will soon see, this is not limited to the Old Testament.

Praise—giving honour to God, being sincerely and deeply thankful for and to God—is not a suggestion but a commandment, and is to be exercised in an attitude of delight and rejoicing—even if when doing so we are doing so by faith rather than by feeling. Perhaps that is why the writer to the Hebrews tells us to offer a sacrifice of praise. It hurts sometimes to obey this commandment. It is costly, for it sometimes cuts across the grain of our experience. Listen to the testimony of another psalmist in this regard:

As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while they continually say to me, “Where is your God?” When I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast. Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.

(Psalm 42:1-5)

There are four names or title for God used in this Psalm.

First, the psalmist uses the name Yahweh, which is translated in English as “LORD” (vv. 2, 6, 7, 11, 12). This is God’s covenant name, which emphasises the eternal and self-sufficient Lord, who has entered into covenant with His people.

Second, there is the name Yah (or Jah), which is an abbreviated form of Yahweh, found in vv. 1 and 20, each time translated as “LORD.” This name is frequently reflected in English by the suffix in the word “hallelujah.”

Third, there is the use of the title elohim, which is translated simply as “God” (vv. 1, 7, 12). This name refers to the power of God and is the name we find in the account of creation in Genesis.

Fourth, the psalmist uses the title adonai in v. 5, which is translated in English as “Lord.” This title speaks of the sovereignty of God. The Lord is sovereign over all; a common theme in this Psalm.

The use of these various names and title shows that “the God . . . revealed in this Psalm, is the Eternal Sovereign Covenant LORD, who has revealed Himself in power, wisdom and goodness.”4 It is this God that we are commanded to praise: the God of the Bible, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. When we contemplate the character of God as revealed in these names and titles, the command is not seen as burdensome but rather as blessedly logical! We can therefore praise God even when we cannot understand what He is doing. This truth is highlighted in Psalm 22:

My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning? O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; and in the night season, and am not silent. But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.

(Psalm 22:1-3)

The New Testament does not contain as many references to such a command, but then again, there is no reason to repeat these, for we worship the same God as revealed under the old covenant. Further, it was expected and accepted as the norm that the new covenant church would use the same inspired hymnal as their Jewish ancestors in the faith. Nevertheless, we do find similar exhortations as well as examples in the New Testament.

Consider, for example, Paul’s quotation of Psalm 117:1 in Romans 15:11: “Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles [nations]; laud Him, all you peoples.” And we have already mentioned the exhortation given to new covenant believers in Hebrews 13:15 to “offer the sacrifice of praise to God.” From these considerations and texts we can conclude that we too are under this command to praise the Lord—not just sometimes, but always. We are to have a continual posture of praise. After all, how else do you interpret these exhortations: “Rejoice evermore” and, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16, 18). Consider also Philippians 4:4: “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, Rejoice!”

Clearly, though the words are spelled differently, the meaning of praise is included in them. We are to always be sincerely and deeply thankful for and to the Lord and we are to express this in an attitude of delight and rejoicing.

The next time that you are tempted to complain about the government, the economy, the weather, your job or your lot in life, stop and consider the command of the Lord: “Praise the LORD.” Phillips comments, “We have so much for which to be thankful that our lives should be an anthem of praise. It is when we get our eyes off the Lord and get taken up with our own petty problems, when we neglect prayer and praise, that our lives lose their luster and our souls lose their song.”5

The Blessing of a Command

Actually, when you think about it, a commandment is a wonderful blessing, for it prepares you for a response long before the event arises where you will be faced with a choice. If you know that you are commanded to praise the Lord, you don’t have to debate your response when faced with any situation. The decision has already been made and all you need to do is to obey.

Settle it in your heart before the trial comes how God wants for you to respond. It really is non-negotiable. Don’t make a debate out of what God has already decreed. The secret things belong to the Lord but those things that are revealed belong to us and to our children. This command is no longer a “secret” after you have read this!

Consider the Commander

Consider whom it is who issues this command: the LORD. This is not some pop psychological advice by an ancient Dr. Phil, who snuck his counsel into the inspired psalter. Rather this command comes from Yahweh, Elohim and Adonai. Therefore you can take comfort that, even when others think you are loony, you can go ahead and obediently praise the Lord in the hospital waiting room, in the doctor’s office when you hear the bad news about the biopsy, when you are hard done by another, and when you feel friendless. God knows what He is doing; and He is well aware of what He is commanding. So, by faith, obey Him (Hebrews 11:6).

BBC is facing some difficult days both as individuals and as a body. In recent weeks, we have lost some church members who have chosen to leave the membership and to go elsewhere. That always hurts. Some of us have received some sad news in recent days and weeks. Some are facing economic hardships and others are facing physical infirmities which bring with them much sorrow.

As a church, we have recently faced a situation in which one of our members has been in ICU for more than a month now without yet being diagnosed. We are tempted to tempt the Lord by asking Him why in less than reverent ways. Our faith is challenged and we are baffled over the unanswered prayers of so many. In fact, if we are honest we are confused as to why the Lord would allow a relatively young man with a young family to be so unresponsive to treatment. We are perhaps confused over God’s seeming unwillingness to relieve the sorrow. After all, God created the world with His spoken Word, and He can certainly heal this man of his condition—now. How must we respond to this, as well as to other unhappy providences? The text tells us: We are to praise the LORD. Yes we are to be sincerely and deeply thankful to Yahweh.

Praise is Corporate

But there is another important issue here, for in this Psalm, as well as the other “Praise Psalms,” the emphasis is upon corporate praise. Though the imperative in v. 1 is singular, the other references are plural, and thus we can conclude that everyone in the church is to join in praise to God. Praise is a team effort. In fact, as a church family, we face discouragements and even times of depression together—or at least we should—and therefore we should also praise together. The childhood song bellows out, “Let us pray,” and, indeed, let us, but let us also add to that, “Let us praise.”

But for praise to be corporate in a meaningful way, we as individuals must work hard during the week to develop and to practice the posture of praise. If our week is spent in the posture of praise then our offering up of praise will not be artificial on Sunday. Let me put it in New Testament terms: If we are filled with the Spirit during the week then most likely we will be on Sundays, and our singing of God’s praises will be the evidence (see Ephesians 5:18-21).

Praise is Constructive

In the rest of the verse God reveals the rationale for this command. The reason we are to praise is because it is constructive.

It is Purposeful

The text says that we are to praise the Lord because “it is good to sing praises to our God.” As the congregation gathers, we are to corporately praise the LORD in song, and we are told that to do so is “good.” After telling us that it is good to do so, we are then told two subordinate reasons why this is a good thing to do: namely, because it is pleasant and because it is beautiful (“fitting” or “proper”). In other words, when we develop and practice a posture of praise, we are being productive in our worship. Much good will come from a posture of praise. There is a purpose to praise.

The word “good” first occurs in Genesis 1:4, where it describes God’s response to His creation of light. “God saw the light, that it was good.” God was impressed. He was content because everything was just perfect. He never makes a mistake. Darkness was now separated from light. The same pronouncement that all was well came forth again vv. 10, 12, 18, 21, 25. God praised Himself for His good work and this was in itself a good thing.

When we gather together, we are to join our voices in song to praise our Elohim. The powerful creator and sustainer of the universe does all things well, and we are to encourage each other that this is the truth. He makes no mistakes.

The Bible never suggests that all that happens to us is “good.” In fact, life has plenty of bad about it. We live in a broken world. But believers grow in their understanding of the character of God and therefore increasingly appreciate that God makes no mistakes. And we also grow in our conviction that all things work together for good to those who know and therefore love the Lord. Therefore, when we develop a posture of praise, we are declaring the goodness of God to others.

The word “good” has many connotations, one of which is “rightness” or “correctness.” In other words, one major reason that we are to praise the Lord together in song is because it is the right thing to do. This, as indicated earlier, gives us a wonderful motivation. We may not understand why we are undergoing a difficult situation, but since we know that it is right to praise God anyway, this helps us to develop such a posture. It is right because God makes no mistakes, and thus when we praise Him we acknowledge that He alone is God. Such praise is an act of reverent humility (v. 11). Hear the words of another psalmist in this regard:

Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful. Praise the LORD with the harp; make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings. Sing to Him a new song; play skilfully with a shout of joy. For the word of the LORD is right, and all His work is done in truth.

(Psalm 33:1-4)

The word “good” also carries with it the connotation of being “beneficial.” Thus, when we praise the Lord, benefits accrue. “It is good because God is good, and it is good because of the effect upon those who do so.”6 Yes, praise is beneficial in many ways: to oneself, to others, and ultimately to God in that He is glorified through it. We will see more of this later.

If you are struggling to find the right thing to do, then let this text guide you: Praising the Lord is the right thing to do. Think about who the Lord is, who you are, and then respond by being sincerely and deeply thankful for Him. Let the abundance of a thankful and worshipful heart be heard from your lips. Let others hear it. That is a good thing to do and a lot of good can come from it.

For one thing, it will go a long way towards separating the light from the darkness by focusing your attention and affections on the light. Rather than bemoaning the darkness, you will find yourself rejoicing in the light that Jesus has sent into the world: such lights as relative health, provisions, friendship and family—and, of course, the light of salvation (Jesus Christ).

By doing so you will bring hope, confidence, insight and joy to those with whom you praise the Lord. At the dinner table, what will you talk about? Will you be critical or constructive? Will you be Christ-centred or man-centred (self-centred).

By doing so you will bring delight to God, who esteems your heartfelt praise of Him as a good thing.

In summary, the writer is telling us that when we pursue the posture of praise, we are being beneficially constructive. Believer, if you want to be of good use in this world, then develop and practice the posture of praise.

It is Pleasant

In essence the clause, “for it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful,” is descriptive of the antecedent of why praise is constructive. In other words, when we practice the posture of praise then both pleasure and beauty are produced.

The word “pleasant” means “that which is sweet” (see 2 Samuel 23:1), and can well be rendered as “delightful,” “lovely,” or “beautiful.” It is the assumed root of “to sing sweetly musically.” It speaks of that which is pleasurable; that which brings pleasure.

Thus we are told that it is good to sing praises to the Lord because such activity is sweet, lovely, and delightful. When a congregation sings the praises of God with sincerity and with deep gratitude, the result is a pleasurable experience for the worshipper. But more importantly, this pleases God and can please others as well. And it is especially sweet when life seems the sourest!

Edward Welch has written a helpful book on depression and observes that we must work hard at remembering God’s goodness and generosity when we are feeling discouraged, because “it is harder to be surprised by the goodness and generosity of God when you feel so miserable.” He then writes with reference to William Cowper (who suffered terribly from depression), “It is possible to be a child of God, without consciousness of the blessing, and to have title to a crown, and yet feel to be immured in the depths of a dungeon.”

Welch advises, “You must do battle at this point with depression’s tendencies toward passivity. Don’t wait to have faith inserted into your heart. Seek the Lord. If there is any guarantee in Scripture, it is that He will reveal more and more of Himself to those who seek Him.”

This counsel is heavily supported by Scripture (see Psalms 34:1-6; 35:18-23; 40:1-4; 44:8-17).

We need to keep before us that our goal in life must be to please the Lord. And so our posture of praise is to be God-focused. Is He pleased with what is coming out of our mouths?

People all around us need to see that there are pleasures evermore at God’s right hand (Psalm 16:11). But they need to hear this from us. So watch your mouth; or better yet, watch your posture and make sure it is one of praise.

It is Proper

The second and final constructive result of the posture of praise mentioned in this verse is that “praise is beautiful.” The ESV translates this as “a song of praise is fitting.”

The word is translated in various ways including “beauty,” “beautiful,” “lovely,” “comely,” “suitable” and “seemly.” These are all related. Let me explain.

When your wife asks you how a dress looks on her, you would not be wrong if your response was, “It fits,” but neither would you expect much of a dinner! Rather, you might say, “That looks lovely.” If the dress is suitable for her in that it accentuates her eyes, hair, skin colour or personality, then you would say that it looks “beautiful.” You might say something like, “That really looks good on you.” In essence, that is what the writer of Psalm 147 is saying here. When the believer’s dispositional posture in life manifests praise to God, it looks good. It is appropriate. It is the proper demeanour of the child of God. It is fitting. It is how we are supposed to look.

William Plumer wrote almost a century ago, “It is monstrous to have a God and not worship, obey and praise Him.” In the words of the Psalmist, this is not “fitting.”

The writer is not necessarily saying that “a song of praise” (ESV) sounds musically beautiful, but that when the believer expresses sincere gratitude towards God, then this “looks good” on them. It is what ought to characterise them.

I noted above that to praise the Lord sincerely is an act of reverent humility. You see, when we praise the Lord, we acknowledge that He is God and we are not. This is the proper demeanour of a believer. It is fitting. It is proper posture for those touched by the grace of God. And by the way, others will notice.

Praise looks good on God’s people and such praise can make God look good to others. When you are going through a difficult time and can sincerely and honestly praise the Lord with deep reverence, people are being given the opportunity to learn that God is God and that God is good. It makes God look beautiful and worthy of worship.

So whether your difficulty is sickness, unemployment or heartache, there is no need to defend God’s goodness, but only need to praise Him for His goodness.

Adoniram Judson was an American missionary to Burma, who endured heart-rending suffering throughout his 37-year ministry. While on the mission field he suffered the untimely deaths of two wives, three children, and a number of coworkers. He was incarcerated for nearly two years in a mind-numbingly squalid prison—emaciated, filthy, shackled, and hanging upside down much of the time. When he returned to America for his only furlough, he was asked by a printer, “Do you think the prospects are bright for the speedy conversion of the heathen?” His response, famously was that the future was “as bright as the promises of God.” Unswayed by circumstances, Judson maintained a firm posture of praise. We would do well to learn from him.

The apostle Paul was another man who learned to praise God despite His circumstances. In prison, he wrote to the Philippians, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content” (Philippians 4:11).

In both cases God looked good because believers had developed and displayed a posture of praise. God was pleased and others were helped.

As John Piper has somewhat famously said, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” This truth is seen loud and clear when we display the posture of praise in the midst of heartache and hardships. Do you have an example? Will you be such an example?

Of course the ultimate example of this posture of praise is in the life and death of the Lord Jesus Christ. His life and death were characterised by a spirit of humble submission to God the Father. He had a posture of praise.

We never find Jesus complaining, grumbling or embittered. On the contrary, the Gospel records reveal to us a life that was pleasing to the Father (Luke 3:22; John 8:29). We also see in His conduct a life that was “proper” and “fitting”; in fact, His was a life that was beautiful—not His countenance but His character (Isaiah 53:2).

Jesus reflected the glory of God as the Son of God. But perhaps we never see this with more clarity than in His suffering and death. Whether in the Garden where He sweat drops of blood (Luke 22:44), or in blasphemous interrogation by Caiaphas (Mark 14:62), the Lord Jesus Christ had a composure of praise to God. He trusted His God. That is why, at the moment of death, He could pray, “Father, ‘into your hands I commit My spirit’” (Luke 23:46). It was a faithful act of praise to the Father.

His followers are called to such a posture of praise. We are to obey the Lord’s command to praise Him. We are to be characterised as those who praise Him. We are to have a composure which speaks of our trust in God. This posture of praise is the suitable attire for those blessed with salvation. It fits!

But one last issue must be addressed: How do we develop such a posture?

Praise is Caused

Though it is true that one can merely mimic words of praise to God, true praise has a cause behind it. Like everything else in this universe, praise is created. And it is created by God. God is the cause of true praise. It is He who gives the new birth, which will always manifest itself in praise to God (see Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14, 15-17).

Paul understood this truth and wrote,

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgements and His ways past finding out! “For who has known the mind of the LORD? Or who has become His counsellor?” “Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?” For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

(Romans 11:33-36)

Jude echoed this praise when he wrote, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Saviour, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen” (Jude 24-25).

Let me put it this way: If we will truly be characterised as those with a posture of praise then we need the gospel. The new birth begins a lifetime (and beyond) of praise to God.

If you have the Spirit of God dwelling in you then you long for such a posture of praise. This can and must be yours. We must all have it. But it won’t come without hard work and some discomfort. Praise does not come naturally. We need divine help. David Dickson wrote nearly 500 years ago, “There is no part of God’s worship whereunto we are more indisposed, or need more stirring up, than to praise God, as the frequently repeated exhortations import.”7 Five centuries later we are in need of the same counsel.

So how do we develop and thus display this posture of praise? Let me suggest that we do so by holding tight to the gospel of God. The gospel is the back brace that produces such a posture. This is precisely how Paul counselled the Philippian believers:

Do all things without complaining and disputing, you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, fast the word of life.

(Philippians 2:14-16)

I trust that we will see in our next study that we need to think right if we will praise right. The only way to straighten our skewed (selfish, petty, complaining) thinking is to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. And when this paradigm shift occurs, the posture of praise begins to come right. In short, what we need is practice. Old habits die hard and so we need to work on forming new ones. It won’t be easy, but it will be rewarded and rewarding.

We have to practice in order to develop a posture of praise. Make it your daily habit to preach the gospel to yourself—on your knees before God. Ask His help to appreciate, increasingly, His amazing grace. Ask God’s help for perspective. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you Christ in His Word. And seek to develop this posture of praise in fellowship with others.

When we have worked hard at our posture during the week, then when we gather with others on the Lord’s Day our posture will no longer be marked by the slump of despair. Instead, we will be more upright, giving corporately shared, sincere praise to God. But this also works the other way.

As we gather, let us help one another to focus on the glorious goodness and grace of God. And so, though you may come here slouched in sorrow, may we all leave with a straightened and hopeful posture of praise.

May God help us as local churches to develop a posture of praise. After all, “it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.”

Show 7 footnotes

  1. Joseph A. Alexander, Commentary on Psalms (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1991), 565.
  2. John Phillips, Exploring the Psalms, 2 vols. (Neptune: Loizeaux Brothers, 1988), 2:668.
  3. W. Graham Scroggie, The Psalms, 4 vols. (London: Pickering and Inglis, 1972), 4:129.
  4. Scroggie, The Psalms, 4:129.
  5. Phillips, Exploring the Psalms, 2:668.
  6. Scroggie, The Psalms, 4:130.
  7. David Dickson, Psalms: The Geneva Series of Commentaries (London: Banner of Truth, 1965), 520.