We hit two frequently misused verses in family devotions this morning. I’ll take a few minutes on one of them today.
Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.
Some people think this calls for dancing in the church as we worship the Lord. They say churches that aren’t dancing aren’t obeying Scripture. It certainly is about worship, and about dancing. But before I injure myself (and the eyes of anyone watching me) by attempting to dance, perhaps we might look further at this Psalm.
Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.
We need to bring beds to church to obey Psalm 149 and worship the way God says!
Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand;
I thought pastors in some countries carried guns to protect people from wild animals or criminals. But maybe they do it to obey Psalm 149, which says to take weapons to church! But why keep that gun in his pocket? This says it should be in his hand.
To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people;
Church will be — interesting. If we use swords to execute vengeance at church, there’s going to be a mess.
8 To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;
9 To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.
If we use chains at church, kings and nobles won’t attend very often….
If this Psalm is about what we do at church, we’ll need to make some changes! Beds, weapons, executions, chains, WOW! Better than the movies!
You Mean it Isn’t About Church?
Psalms 146-150 are a group (each begins and ends with “Praise ye the Lord”). They call for worship in all of life, including (not limited to) worship gatherings. When celebrating (that’s the dancing part), praise the Lord. When in bed, praise the Lord. When gathered for worship, praise Him. Even when fighting God’s enemies, praise Him. Make all of life a praise to God, an act of worship. That is the message of these Psalms.
If someone claims that these closing Psalms call for dance in church worship, ask to see his bed, sword, and chains — and ask who will clean up the mess. Then tell him he’ll need a different passage to make his case.
Tomorrow, I hope to look at the other passage, Proverbs 29:18 and its statement about “no vision.” At least, that’s my “vision” for tomorrow, unless the Lord changes it.
Follow-up post: Perishing Without Vision (Proverbs 29:18)