Praise the Lord!
For it is good to sing praises to our God;
for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.
Psalm 147:1 ESV
The continuity of shared experience in the Psalms and in centuries of writing about them is a huge encouragement to Christians who know that ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever’. And there is lasting relevance in the witness of singers in Babylon of any age. Rudolf Edward Stier (1800-1862) was a German protestant Christian; a lawyer, theologian, pastor, and writer of Scripture commentaries. His devotional commentary on the Words of the Lord is a highlight.
Rudolf Stier wrote about Psalm 147:1…. “Singing is necessarily included and recognised in the praise of the Psalms. That the joyful should sing is as natural as that the afflicted should pray – rather more natural. Song as the expression of cheerfulness is something universal in human nature; there was always, both in Israel and among all other nations, songs of joy.
“… The singing of men is in itself good and noble. The same God who furnished the birds of heaven with the notes wherein they unconsciously praise (Him) gave to man the power to sing. …. Let him to whom it is granted rejoice therein; let him who lacks it seek, if possible, to excite it; for it is a good gift of the Creator.
“Let our children learn to sing in the schools, even as they learn to read. Our fathers sang more in all the affairs of life than we do; our tunes are in this respect less fresh, and artless, and joyous. There are many among us who never sing, except when adding their voices to the voice of the church – and therefore they sing so badly there. Not that a harsh song from a good heart is unacceptable to God; but he should have our best.
“As David in his day took care that there should be practised singers for the sanctuary, we should also make provision for the church’s service of song, that God may have in all respects a perfect offering. How gracious and lovely is the congregation singing with the heart acceptable songs!”
From Rudolf Steir in The Epistle of James Expounded –
(quoted by Charles Spurgeon in The Treasury of David).