When we as believers delight ourselves in the Lord, we are praising Him. A remembrance of the fact that God is with and for us eternally should wake in us an unceasing and overflowing joy. To rejoice in material things is dangerous; to rejoice in self is foolish; to rejoice in sin is fatal, but to rejoice in God is heavenly and praiseworthy. God wants all whom He has pardoned to continue praising Him with whatever they have at their disposal.
Although we can make melody without instruments such as strings and pipes, we have no basis to condemn those who praise God with their instruments. In Africa, for instance, praise always is accompanied by drums, guitar and clapping of hands. All the musical notes belong to God; where several pieces of music are mentioned, we are taught to praise God with all the power we possess.
We must sing to the Lord who is King of kings. Our faculties should be exercised when we magnify the Lord so as not to run in an old groove without thought; we ought to make every hymn of praise a new song. To keep up the freshness of worship is a great thing; in private, it is indispensable. We should not present old, worn out praise. Instead we should put life, soul and heart into every song, because we have new mercies every day and see new beauties in the work and word of our Lord. As believers, we should endeavour to sing according to the rules of the art, so we keep time and tune with the congregation. The sweetest tunes and voices, with the sweetest words, are too little for the Lord. We should not offer Him limping rhymes set to harsh tunes and growled out discordant voices.
Our praise should be a reflection of the Word of God, which is always right; its precepts are holy, just and good; its sanction or penalty is righteous; it is impartial to everyone; it is just in condemning the wicked and acquitting believers on the account of Christ’s perfect righteousness by which it is magnified and made honourable. The gospel part of the Word is right, publishing right and good things; it directs to heaven and happiness. It engages us to live correctly; its doctrines are plain to them who have a spiritual understanding given them, and so we cannot help but rejoice and praise the Lord.
We must remember God’s creation is done in the truth of things, with the utmost exactness and accuracy, and is a wonderful display of His power, wisdom and goodness. His works of providence are according to the course of His own will and are done in the wisest and best manner. His work of redemption is a proof of His veracity and faithfulness to His covenant oath and promise. His work of grace upon the hearts of His people is truth in the inward parts. He has promised to carry on and finish, and He is faithful and will do it.
God delights in the administration of what is right. He is pleased with acts of righteousness done by others, when done according to His Word, from love toward Him, by faith in Him and with a view to His glory. He loves the righteousness of His Son, being satisfactory to His law and justice and His people, as clothed with it. He delights in the condemnation of sin in the flesh of Christ and in the righteous judgment of the world and the prince of it by Christ.
God provides for His entire creation. His special goodness is manifest in Christ Jesus. When Christ walked here on earth, God’s grace was seen fully when the gospel of grace was preached everywhere by His apostles, according to His order, and appeared to all men. This mercy also will be seen in the latter days when multitudes will be called by grace and converted, and when the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord—and still more when it will become a new earth in which only righteous men will dwell.
The aerial and starry heavens, the third heaven, the seat of the divine majesty, and the habitation of angels and glorified saints: Neither were these made from any pre-existent matter, nor are they eternal. They are, therefore, creatures which must not be worshipped, neither them nor their hosts: angels, sun, moon, stars. They all were made by the Word of God, the Lord Jesus Christ as revealed in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.”
The host of heavens are the angels who dwell in the third heaven and are the militia of it; they are under Jehovah as their Lord and King and are the army among whom He does according to His will. “…I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right hand and on His left” (1 Kings 22:19). The sun, moon and stars are the host of the next heaven, ranged in their proper order by the Lord, and He keeps the muster roll of them: “He telleth the number of the stars; He calleth them all by their names” (Ps. 147:4).
It is our duty as human beings to honour the Lord because of His divine majesty and perfections, which are manifest through His works of creation, and be careful enough not to offend Him because it is a fearful thing to fall in the hands of the Living God. We always should remember His goodness, providential care and the fact that He is our Judge. Of significance is the fact that as God speaks life in our regeneration, commands light to shine in our dark hearts and commands us through Christ’s blood to live, so by the mighty power of His Word He commands reverence in us and it continues.