Joyful Noise Unto Him with Psalms
Dr. John K. Mathew
The Westminister Shorter Catechism, an important product of the Assembly, asks and answers one hundred four essential questions which form the basic tenets of the Christian faith.
Profoundly the first question asked is "What is the chief end of man?" We might rephrase it, "What is the purpose of man?" or "Why does a man exist?"
The answer is at once both eloquent and simple, " Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever". (Patrick Morley, The Man In The Mirror)
We can glorify God and enjoy Him in various ways, yet as children of God, we have a wonderful task and an awesome privilege to enjoy His presence and glorify Him through worship. We were created with the need and the ability to bow before our Creator and give God the glory due to Him. Only upon our obedience to God through worship can we be fulfilled in our humanity.
Worship in the New Testament is congregational in nature because it grew out of the worship style of the Old Testament. The Old Testament is filled with examples of people together praising God through singing and shouting with the assistance of musical instruments.
So Psalms were an important ingredient in Jewish worship and naturally to Christian.
As our taste evolves with time, we see the Psalms are slightly vanishing from the service, claiming to be anti-traditional and not up to date!
According to Warren Wiersbe, "The book of Psalms has been and still is the irreplaceable devotional guide, prayer book, and hymnal of the people of God."
He continues, primarily, the psalms are about God and his relationship to his creation, the nations of the world, Israel, and his believing people.
He is seen as a powerful God as well as a tender-hearted Father, a God who keeps his promises and lovingly cares for His people. the psalms also reveal the hearts of those who follow Him, their faith and doubts, their victories and failures, and their hopes for the glorious future God has promised them.
In this book, we meet all kinds of people in a variety of circumstances, crying out to God, praising him, confessing their sins, and seeking to worship Him more deeply.
Moreover, our Lord Jesus Christ quoted from the book of Psalms. There are over four hundred quotations or allusions to the Psalms in the New Testament.
When the church in Jerusalem had to choose a new apostle, the Lord gave them guidance from the book of Psalms. For as St. Augustine said well, " The New is in the Old concealed, the Old is by the New revealed". Let us continue to worship our redeemer with Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.