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Into His Presence with Singing

Psalm 100:2 (ESV) … “Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!”

Since the psalm speaks of “noise,” we can be sure that there is a certain enthusiasm involved in praising. And praise is not confined to the people of Israel but is universal; here the whole earth is invited to join in.

Part of the “joyful noise” was singing. One wonders: Since peoples were apparently present from the nations of the world, did they sing in Hebrew? Whatever was done, the singing must have been loud (noise!), radiating happiness, and done on the move, as the people “came into the presence” of the Lord.[1]

He is our Lord, and therefore he is to be served; he is our gracious Lord, and therefore to be served with joy. The invitation to worship here given is not a melancholy one, as though adoration were a funeral solemnity, but a cheery, gladsome exhortation, as though we were bidden to a marriage feast. “Come before his presence with singing.” We ought in worship to realise the presence of God, and by an effort of the mind to approach him. This is an act which must to every rightly instructed heart be one of great solemnity, but at the same time it must not be performed in the servility of fear, and therefore we come before him, not with weepings and wailings, but with Psalms and hymns. Singing, as it is a joyful, and at the same time a devout, exercise, should be a constant form of approach to God. The measured, harmonious, hearty utterance of praise by a congregation of really devout persons is not merely decorous but delightful, and is a fit anticipation of the worship of heaven, where praise has absorbed prayer, and become the sole mode of adoration. How a certain society of brethren can find it in their hearts to forbid singing in public worship is a riddle which we cannot solve.[2]

[1] Limburg, J. (2000). Psalms. (P. D. Miller & D. L. Bartlett, Eds.) (pp. 337–338). Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press. [2] Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The treasury of David: Psalms 88-110 (Vol. 4, p. 233). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.

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