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Psalm 33, Part 1 of 3

1 Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;

it is fitting for the upright to praise him.

2 Praise the Lord with the harp;

make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.

3 Sing to him a new song;

play skillfully, and shout for joy.

The Hebrew verbs in this entire Psalm are plural.

This means it is referring to the assembly not just an individual. It is so vitally important to note, however, that the assembly is made up of individuals. A group is only as strong as its weakest member just like a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. As such, we must remember that if we want to be a worshipping community—a worshipping ministry—we must be worshipping individuals.

This Psalm also serves as “primer on praise”. There is so much for us to learn in this Psalm. Let’s look at the first three verses.

Who is to praise the Lord? (v 1)

The righteous. Us as believers. Those of us who have experienced the grace of Jesus Christ have reason to praise Him. Indeed (as verse 1 states), it is fitting for us to praise Him. Worship in the Biblical sense is, at its core, a function of believers. The lost do not know Jesus as Savior and Lord. Certainly our worship is able to show them the Lord.

How are we to praise the Lord? (v 2-3)

· With musical instruments. There’s a great variety of instruments mentioned in the Psalms and throughout Bible (OT especially). This serves to tell us of the wonderful variety of ways we can praise the Lord.

· With voices. Not only are we instructed to sing a “new song”—an encouragement to keep being creative in ways to praise but we are instructed to “sing joyfully”! We shouldn’t sing as if there’s a “black cloud” hanging over our heads! Yes, there will be bad times in our lives—that’s life—but we have a hope and peace that should surpass our circumstances.

· Play skillfully. We should offer our best to the Lord. Notice here that the Lord doesn’t define what “skillfully” means—it’s different from culture to culture and situation to situation but it does say we are to play skillfully. We should give our best to our Lord and Savior. He’s given so much to us. How then could we turn around and give Him some beat up “song and dance” that we’ve spent as little time on as possible? On the contrary, let’s push ourselves to present the very best we can do—not so people can look at us and say how great we are but will look at us and see a motivation that goes beyond art, applause, or appreciation. They will not see us, but see the Savior Who gave His all so we could live for Him.