A Joyful Noise (a meditation)

Sing praises to our God, our strength / Sing to the God of Jacob
Sing! Beat the tambourine / Play the sweet lyre and the harp
Blow the ram’s horn at new moon / and again at full moon to call a festival!

He made it a law for Israel / When he attacked Egypt to set us free
~Psalm 81:1-3, 5

Salvation is worth celebration. We find this attitude all throughout Scripture. In Psalm 81, the psalmist called the people to remember and celebrate what God had done for them in freeing them from enslavement. If release from physical bondage is worth celebrating, how much more so our release from spiritual bondage.

Our sin is our Egypt. It enslaves, it rules, and it dominates our lives. We cannot escape its consequences on our own—neither death nor God’s wrath.

But God has granted us escape through Jesus—true and eternal freedom. This is why Jesus could speak of the greatness of heaven’s joy over one sinner who repents and finds salvation.

Yes, life is hard and it has its struggles, but simply put: Christians should be the most joyous people in the world. Even in times of weeping, we can look beyond the tears with joy. And why? Because we know who God is, we know what he has done for us through Jesus, and we know what he has promised to do in the future, making right every wrong we have suffered. God wins, that’s how our story of faith goes. And because God wins, through Jesus we are more than conquerors. We are eternally victorious, headed for endless happiness in the presence of God, with no hint of sorrow, sin, hurt, or corruption.

So we are to make joyful noises, celebrating our God and his salvation through a variety of music and songs. These also remind us what the Israelites of old forgot: there is no other god, there is no other savior, there is nothing and no one else worth bowing to and worshiping; only God alone. So we are to live in remembrance of this, longing for none other than God (the rest of Psalm 81).

Think daily upon your salvation in Jesus. Think of your destiny before and your destiny now. Sing joyful praise to God, celebrate his glorious work, and remember that he alone is God.

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