August 09, 2017

Preparing to Praise

1 Chronicles 23:1-5; 25:1, 6-7

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.

—  Psalm 150:6

In 1 Chronicles 22 we learn that King David was not allowed to build the temple for God in Jerusalem because he had been involved in too much war and bloodshed. Yet he did an enormous amount of work to enable his son Solomon, the next king, to succeed in that task. David provided huge amounts of gold and silver as well as wood and stone. He also prepared workers to build the temple.

King David, who in some Bible translations is called “Israel’s singer of songs” and “the sweet psalmist of Israel” (2 Samuel 23:1), wanted to make sure that God’s people would continue to worship the Lord in song once the temple was built. So he appointed 4,000 Levites to praise the Lord, of which 288 were skilled in the use of musical instruments.

Churches around the world carry out this tradition today as they gather to worship God. Some use wonderful organs and skilled organists; others use electronic keyboards, guitars, and drums; and still others prefer to use only voices to worship God. Whatever means you use, let your praise be heartfelt and filled with joy and sincerity.

Because God is worthy of all praise, in our worship we are called to join in, not leaving music only to the professionals. Nor should we confine it to church services one day a week. Rather, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.”

Father God, may we lift up our hearts in praise to you today, for you are worthy to receive “honor and ­ glory and praise!” (Revela­tion 5:12). Amen.

About the author — John Van Schepen

Dr. John Van Schepen is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oregon and California. He and his wife, Willie, have been blessed with five children and several grandchildren.

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